Root Canal Treatment or Tooth Extraction: Which is Right for You?

13 Aug

Should you have a root canal or remove the tooth?

When a large cavity or fracture invades the pulp of a tooth, infection occurs. This can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms, such as pain, fever, facial swelling, and more. There are only two primary treatments for an infected tooth: root canal treatment or extraction. At Platinum Dental Care, we offer both procedures, depending on your specific needs. Today, our team will explore both treatment options and discuss when each one is recommended.

About Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment eliminates infection at its source by removing the pulp – including nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue inside the tooth. To perform this procedure, your doctor administers local anesthesia and creates a tiny access hole in the top of the tooth. Once all tissues have been removed, the inside surfaces of the tooth are scrubbed and disinfected. The canals and pulp chamber are then filled with a rubbery material called gutta percha and the tooth is sealed to prevent further contamination. Oftentimes, a dental crown is also added to protect the weakened tooth and restore the bite.

When is Root Canal Treatment Recommended?

There is nothing quite as strong and reliable as a natural tooth. Therefore, we prefer to save them whenever possible. Root canal treatment is generally the preferred treatment for an infected tooth, as long as the remaining structure is sound. To determine if you are eligible for root canal treatment, your doctor will perform a thorough assessment of the affected tooth. X-rays and scans may also be taken to evaluate the underlying roots and supporting jawbone. If the long-term prognosis is good, root canal treatment will likely be recommended.

About Tooth Extraction

Tooth removal is a tried-and-true way to treat an infected tooth. To begin, your doctor will numb the tooth and surrounding gums. Next, the tooth is freed from the surrounding tissues and is gently lifted from its socket. To remove any residual infection, the socket will be thoroughly debrided and stitches will be placed if necessary.
If you plan to replace the tooth with a dental implant, then a bone grafting procedure may be necessary. This will fill in the void left behind by the tooth and create a solid foundation for an implant post later on.

When is Tooth Extraction Recommended?

Tooth extraction is generally recommended when a damaged tooth has a poor long-term prognosis. If root canal treatment is not predictable, then your doctor will suggest tooth removal. This will prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the mouth. With the exception of wisdom teeth, we always recommend restoring your smile after tooth loss. Therefore, if an extraction is recommended for you, we will discuss replacement options with you at the same time. Patients can choose from a variety of options, including traditional bridges or dental implants.

Contact Our Toronto Dentists Now

If a damaged tooth or dental abscess is left untreated, the infection could rapidly spread to other areas, leading to problems with the surrounding teeth. In addition, oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream, which can carry the infection throughout the body. If you notice signs of an infected tooth, call your dentist right away to prevent further issues from developing.  If you are seeking quality family dental care in Toronto, ON, we invite you to visit our dental clinic at Lawrence and Bathurst. New patients are welcome and emergency care can be accommodated.

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North York, Ontario