Infected tooth pulp will never heal on its own. The longer it’s left alone, the longer bacteria will attack the soft tissues within your tooth, and they could eventually spread beyond the roots and into the jawbone. If you want to avoid a worst-case scenario, you need to make a decision on what to do about the infection. Will you simply have the damaged pulp removed with a root canal in Tacoma? Or will you have the entire tooth extracted altogether before replacing it with an implant? It’s important to understand the pros and cons of both treatments so that you can choose the one that’s right for you when you’re suffering from tooth pain.
What are the Advantages of Root Canal Therapy?
During a root canal, infected pulp and bacteria are cleaned out from the pulp chamber inside your tooth. Said chamber is then disinfected, filled, and resealed. Despite its reputation, root canal therapy is an excellent way to stop dental pain. Furthermore, by having your tooth treated instead of removed altogether, you can keep your natural smile fully intact. Not only is this better for your oral health, but you won’t have to pay for a dental implant or another form of tooth replacement. The procedure typically only takes about 30 to 90 minutes, and your mouth will be numbed during this time so you won’t feel any pain; most patients report experiencing less discomfort than they would during a dental extraction.
What are the Advantages of Tooth Extraction?
Not every tooth can be salvaged with root canal therapy. In cases where the damage is too great, an extraction is typically the best way to keep the infection from spreading any further. There are multiple options for replacing the tooth afterwards, so you won’t have to worry about living with the gap in your smile. Also, since the tooth will be gone entirely, there will be no risk of needing an endodontic retreatment later down the line.
Which Should You Choose?
In general, it’s better to choose root canal therapy whenever it’s a viable option and save extraction as a last resort. Both options have the same odds of success over the long-term, but only root canal therapy will let you enjoy the health benefits of preserving your natural teeth. An extraction is generally performed if there has already been too much structural damage to the tooth.
Both root canal therapy and tooth extraction can be crucial to restoring your oral health. Before you make such an important decision, talk it over thoroughly with your dentist or endodontist to make sure that you’ve explored all of your options.
About the Author
After years of practicing general dentistry, Dr. Tina Olsson decided to specialize in endodontics in order to help patients suffering from painful toothaches and dangerous infections. She received her certificate in Endodontics at the University of Washington, and today she provides high quality root canal therapy and other endodontic services at her Tacoma practice, South Sound Endodontics. If you aren’t sure whether you need a root canal or an extraction, get in touch with Dr. Olsson through her website or by calling (253) 752-5511.