Root Canal vs Extraction: Understanding the Differences and Complications

If your teeth are subjected to much damage and decay, the first two treatments that come to mind are a root canal and an extraction. While both serve a similar purpose, one might be better for you than the other.

Let us try to find which one.

Root canal vs extraction: When is which needed?

While a root canal is a process of saving a decayed tooth, extraction is the complete removal of it. Sometimes it is possible to prevent us from losing a bad tooth, we do not always require extraction. Similarly, sometimes it is not possible to save a tooth.

Below we have the answer to root canal vs extraction:

When is a root canal needed?

Some signs of needing a root canal are:

  • Pain in teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Swelling in gums
  • Chipping of tooth
  • Abscess creation

If you face a number of these symptoms, then the root canal wins the root canal vs extraction battle here.

When is an extraction needed?

Some signs of needing an extraction are:

  • Your dentist tells you that your teeth cannot be repaired.
  • A severe case of periodontal disease
  • Overcrowded teeth
  • Impacted tooth

Ranging from cosmetic reasons to severe damage to teeth, extraction can be the only way out in several cases. Here the preferred choice for root canal vs extraction is the latter.

Generally, a root canal is not an alternative to an extraction. Rather, it is the foremost treatment that any dentist would go for to save your teeth and prevent you from getting restorations.

Cracked tooth Root Canal vs extraction: Which option is better?

If you get a cracked tooth, what is the next best step for you?

To answer this, let us analyze cracked tooth root canal vs extraction from these perspectives:

  1. Affordability – When people get cracked teeth, they may go for extraction for financial reasons. It is less costly to get your teeth pulled. But, what next? After extraction, you are left without a tooth. Consequently, some restoration may be needed which could be costlier.
  2. The extent of crack – If the crack of your tooth goes to your pulp, a root canal is imminent. But if the crack reaches below the gumline then there is no saving the tooth. Here for cracked tooth root canal vs extraction, the latter is a clear choice.
  3. The number of visits – A root canal may require you to frequent the dentist’s office. While extraction is a one-time affair. The restoration you opt for post-extraction will decide on your total number of visits.
  4. Aftercare and pain – For cracked tooth root canal vs extraction, either of them do not hurt during the procedure. After the procedure, the root canal may hurt for a few days while extraction sites take time to heal and could hurt.

Root Canal vs Tooth Extraction complications

To truly understand which of either is the best fit for you, looking at the root canal vs tooth extraction complications is a good practice.

Possible complications of a Root Canal

  • An undetected root canal – If there are multiple teeth needing root canal treatment then it is possible that one of them goes undetected.
  • Issues with restoration – If the restoration in the root canal is not done carefully, bacteria can reach and infect the inner tooth.
  • Material breakdown – The material that seals inside of the tooth might break down leading to infection.

Possible complications of a Tooth Extraction

  • Injury to nerve – If the nerve is injured during an extraction, then the latter part of root canal vs tooth extraction complications wins over.
  • Chewing problems – For those who get multiple teeth extracted, their biting capability can be hindered.
  • Bad alignment – In absence of teeth, the rest of the teeth may move from their position hampering alignment.

While there is no clear answer to which reigns higher in root canal vs tooth extraction complications, the decision of which of either you should get depends on the severity of your case.

Get a consultation from your dentist before arriving at a decision.