Although neither root canals nor teeth extractions are pleasant, they are sometimes necessary.

Both treatments become an option when a tooth has extensive damage that cannot be solved with a simple drill and fill procedure. You may be wondering what the difference is between the two options and what you can expect with each one. We have put together some information to help you comprehend what each option entails.

Root Canals: Saving Teeth from Extraction

Root canals may be an appropriate step to take when a dentist checks a tooth and sees that the deepest layer (the pulp) is very damaged or diseased. This is only an option if the rest of the tooth is in a condition that is good enough to stay in your mouth.

When undergoing a root canal procedure, the dentist numbs the area to create an opening in the tooth. The pulp is removed completely using special instruments and the area where the pulp once was is cleaned out. This helps to make sure that there is no remaining bacteria.

Once the chamber of the pulp is completely cleaned out, the dentist fills the area with gutta-percha. This is a material that replaces the pulp that was removed so that your tooth could still function the same as when it was healthy. A crown will be placed on your tooth if it is necessary to give it more strength or fix its appearance.

The pain that follows a root canal is a large concern to many patients. Patients may experience pain for a few days that can be quite dull or sharp. Sometimes over-the-counter pain relivers are necessary to counter this pain. If the pain becomes unbearable then it is important to contact your doctor.

Tooth Extractions: The Last Resort

There are times when a dentist determines that there is nothing that they can do to save a tooth. In such cases they may recommend a full extraction of the tooth.

When getting a tooth extraction, the dentist will begin with numbing the area so that there is little, if any, pain. They will then work on loosening the tooth before they pull it out using special tools. This may sound vicious, but you would only feel little pressure.

There will be bleeding following the extraction and the dentist should have you bite down on gauze in order to help the blood begin to clot. It is possible to have to bite down for upwards of 45 minutes. It is possible to experience light bleeding following the extraction for at least the next day or so.

Facial swelling can occur following a tooth extraction. Applying an ice pack to the area can help to reduce inflammation. It is recommended to only eat foods that are soft and cool to avoid irritating the area that the tooth once was. However, it will not take long to get back to your regular diet. It can take two or more weeks for your mouth to completely heal following a tooth extraction. It is important to brush gently during this time.

Dental Implants After a Tooth Extraction: Something to Consider

When a tooth is extracted there is a gap left behind that could cause more problems down the line. It could lead to difficulty speaking or chewing, or the teeth around the space can shift out of place. Bone loss in the jaw could also occur as well.

Dental implants can be a valuable option to avoid these problems. Dental implants would replace the tooth needing to be removed. They function and appear just like your real teeth and help to prevent bone loss in the jaw. They can be on the expensive side so getting the right dental insurance can help to afford this modern treatment option.

Final Verdict: Root Canals Are Preferred, but Not Always Possible

A root canal is more often the preferred choice between a tooth extraction and root canal. This is because the process is simply fixing your natural teeth so that it remains in place. Unfortunately, root canals are not always a viable option depending on the amount of damage that the tooth has. A tooth extraction may be recommended by your dentist if the tooth is too far damaged. This could be followed by a dental implant to replace the loss of the tooth.

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