You’re sitting in the dentist’s chair, trying to decide between two daunting procedures – tooth extraction or root canal in Richmond, VA. Although neither option may seem appealing, they’re often necessary to alleviate pain. Since both treatments can significantly impact your oral health, you’ll want to learn more about them.
Understanding Tooth Extraction and Root Canal
A root canal treatment involves:
- Removing the infected or damaged tissue inside the tooth.
- Cleaning and shaping the root canals.
- Filling the space with a dental filling material called gutta-percha.
The dentist caps the tooth with a dental crown to provide additional protection and restore its function.
Alternatively, tooth extraction involves the removal of the entire tooth, including its roots. Dental professionals usually perform this procedure when the tooth is beyond repair. In most cases, they extract teeth that suffered severe decay or trauma.
Factors That Determine Whether You Need a Root Canal or Tooth Extraction
The Severity of the Infection or Damage
If the infection or damage is mild to moderate, a root canal may be able to save the tooth. However, extractions may be the only option if the tooth is severely damaged or infected.
Location of the Tooth
While teeth located in the back of the mouth are generally easier to extract, front teeth are more challenging to remove and may require a root canal to save them.
Your Overall Oral Health
If your oral health is good, you may be a good candidate for a root canal treatment. However, if you have weaker teeth or gum disease, you may be better off with an extraction.
Since younger patients can benefit from preserving their natural teeth, a root canal may be more appealing. In contrast, older patients may prefer an extraction to eliminate the need for additional dental work in the future.