When you’re dealing with a really serious oral infection, the number one priority is usually to treat it as quickly as possible. In that situation, you probably care a lot more about how fast you can get treated as opposed to what kind of treatment you get.
However, there is an important choice that you need to make if you’re dealing with a toothache—whether you get a root canal or an extraction. Here are a few more details about this kind of treatment and how to pick which one is right for you.
How Does a Root Canal Treat an Infected Tooth?
Root canals are one of those treatments that are a little bit misunderstood. People tend to believe that they’re painful procedures, when the truth is that a root canal is an easy, painless way to deal with an infected tooth.
Your dentist will begin by numbing your mouth completely to ensure that you’re comfortable through the duration of the procedure. Your dentist opens up your tooth and removes infected pulp tissue from within it, replacing it with a natural plastic known as gutta percha. They then cap off the tooth with a dental crown to protect it long-term.
How do Extractions Work?
If a tooth is seriously infected, it may be necessary to remove it in order to prevent the disease from spreading to other teeth. This is where extractions come in. After numbing the tooth completely, your dentist will use a specialized pair of forceps to remove the tooth from its socket.
Should I Get a Root Canal or an Extraction?
Root canals are by far the easier procedure of the two. It allows you to treat the infection while preserving the integrity of the tooth, making aftercare easy. You also don’t need to worry about having to replace your tooth with a bridge or dental implant.
However, root canals aren’t able to deal with every kind of oral infection. There are some instances where extraction is necessary, so you should talk to your dentist about whether that’s the case for you.
About the Author
Dr. Deborah Bishop loves the field of endodontics, and she is happy to use her expertise to help patients get healthier and more beautiful smiles. She received her dental degree from the University of Alabama School of Dentistry and completed her endodontic residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has held several high-level positions in the Alabama Dental Association, including president and vice-president.
If you have any questions about root canals or tooth extractions, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (256) 882-5161.