Do You Need A Root Canal Or A Tooth Extraction? It Depends On The Damage To The Toot

No one wants to go to the dentist only to be told that they have a cavity and it's bad enough to either have the tooth extracted or they need a root canal. These are both scary terms and often comes with thoughts of pain, swelling, and fear of infection. Do you really need a root canal or a tooth extraction? It will depend on how damaged your tooth is.

Saving Your Tooth

The root canal procedure is used to save teeth that have been compromised by either damage, disease, or dead pulp. The tooth is still strong, however, and doesn't need to be removed because it's still secure and is not causing any stress or putting pressure on healthy neighboring teeth.

A root canal is done when you are experiencing pain, possibly from a crack in your tooth or a deep cavity. This crack or cavity may be damaging the pulp within the tooth itself which provides a good healthy amount of blood to the teeth. If your tooth is cracked or has a bad cavity, or if the pulp is damaged, this can allow bacteria into the tooth and therefore into your bloodstream which can cause an infection.

A root canal takes away the pulp and removes the root before a cavity extraction or a crack repair. 

What if If You Need an Extraction?

There is a possibility that your tooth just can't be saved. This happens when the damage to the tooth is too great for a root canal. For example, you may have a very large cavity or crack that takes up too much of your tooth's structure. This can cause the tooth to be too weak to fix for the dentist. Your tooth may also be loose and can't be anchored in any way.

A tooth in which the crack falls below the gumline is also a reason for the tooth to be pulled because too much of the tooth has been compromised. A tooth extraction doesn't have to be a scary thing, however. Your gum will be frozen during the procedures so you should only feel a slight amount of pressure but no pain, and with proper aftercare, it should not become infected.

If you do experience any pain, extensive swelling or bleeding that doesn't stop within a day or so after either procedure, then you should head back to your dentist for another appointment.