Both root canals and extractions are effective treatments for decayed teeth. Which one is right for you will largely depend on the level of damage your tooth or teeth are exhibiting. In short, a root canal is typically used when a tooth can be saved while extraction is used when the tooth is no longer viable. However, a few other factors such as cost, aftercare needs and the condition of surrounding teeth can also affect the final decision. 

To help you decide which one is best for you, we will discuss why you need this procedure, and explore the differences between a root canal and tooth extraction treatment in Toronto.


Why is a Root Canals and Extractions Necessary?

Tooth decay can occur due to poor oral hygiene, consumption of sugary foods, dry mouth and some medical conditions. When you have tooth decay, it is not just a matter of discoloration or other aesthetic issues.

This decay can lead to pain, infection, bad breath and damage to surrounding teeth.  A root canal to repair the tooth or extraction to remove it will prevent escalating issues and pain. 

The best way to start restoring the health of your mouth is to visit a dentist. Your dentist will be able to recommend the right choice between the two procedures.


What is Root Canal Treatment in Toronto?

Perhaps the first thing to address with a root canal is the level of pain involved. Root canals are often portrayed as being extremely painful and laborious. While there was truth to this year ago, the procedure has evolved to be quite similar to a regular dental filling. Multiple appointments may be needed, but the level of pain can be managed with over the counter medications. 

If your dentist prescribes a root canal, it means that your tooth has been deemed fixable. The infection is not bad enough and, instead of extraction, the infected pulp under the tooth can be cleaned out and then sealed to prevent future damage. 

Root canals, overall, are chosen over-extraction whenever possible. This is because extraction will leave a gap in your teeth which is not only cosmetically unattractive but can lead to additional tooth loss unless an implant is installed. 

The Root Canal Process

An X-ray will determine how much decay your tooth has experienced. This will be a factor in deciding how the procedure is done and how long it takes. Depending on your dentist and the amount of work required, the root canal process will begin with either sedation of a local anesthetic. Sedation can be mild where you will remain awake but not feel pain. It can also take the form of deep sedation where you will be unconscious throughout the procedure. 

Once you are properly numbed, your dentist will place vinyl on the decayed tooth as well as adjacent teeth. Then, a hole will be made in the vinyl covering to expose the infected tooth visible. This vinyl coating helps to prevent infection from spreading to surrounding teeth during the procedure.

Afterward, the dentist will drill a hole in the tooth to reach the enamel that houses the pulp. Once the dentist has access to this area, the infected pulp will be removed and the area disinfected with antiseptic wash. 

At the end of this stage, the resulting hole will be filled with thermoplastic materials. Finally,  you will likely get a prescription of antibiotics to protect you from any infections. Over the counter pain medications should be sufficient for managing discomfort. However, if you find the pain to be unbearable or if the pain stops and comes back, you should contact your dentist as this can be a sign of further issues.


What are the Tooth Extraction Treatments in Toronto?

Extraction is a simpler procedure but is also more painful. Not surprisingly, extraction is exactly how it sounds: the tooth is removed completely. For simple extractions, a local anesthetic is likely to be used while surgical extractions may require sedation.

The Tooth Extraction Process

During your treatment, your dentist will start by reviewing your medical history. An x-ray test will be needed to identify the decay. Just like during root canal treatments, anesthesia will be provided to help manage pain. After the application of the local anesthetic, you may still feel some discomfort during the process but it should be at a manageable level. 

After the application of anesthesia, the next step is to pull out the decaying tooth. This extraction may come in two forms.

  • Simple extraction: Simple extractions are relatively easy to perform and heal from. These extractions are possible when the affected tooth is visible above the gum line and is in a single piece.  
  • Surgical extraction: These more complex extractions are necessary when a tooth is broken into multiple pieces, when it has broken off below the gum line or if it is an impacted wisdom tooth. This type of extraction requires an oral surgeon to make an incision in the gum in order to gain access to the tooth. 


Merits Of Using Root Canal Treatment

In the debate for root canals and extractions, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Let’s take a look at the advantages of a root canal first.

Keep Your Natural Smile

A root canal allows you to cut away the infection without losing your natural tooth. While an implant is possible when you get an extraction, it will be more expensive than a root canal and potentially look and feel different than your own teeth.  

Avoid the Gap 

Extractions are great for removing infection quickly, but that fast removal can leave quite a gap in your smile. Not only is this not aesthetically pleasing, but an unfilled gap can also leave your other teeth vulnerable to shifting. 

Avoid Bone Loss

If this shifting is allowed to progress, it can mean a bone loss in the jaw. This will put your other teeth at risk and cause greater problems and expenses. A root canal keeps your natural tooth in place and the surrounding teeth safe. 


Advantages Of Tooth Extraction

While extraction is typically the more extreme and painful option, it is the right choice in many cases as a root canal will not be able to remove infections completely from a severely damaged tooth.

Prevents further decay

When a tooth is decayed to the point that it is not strong enough for a root canal, an extraction is your best option. Leaving a decayed tooth in your mouth will lead to deeper and more serious infections in that tooth and surrounding teeth. Extraction eliminates the problem completely and quickly. 

Resolves to overcrowd

If your teeth are overcrowded already, an extraction may be an even better option than a root canal. For those with overcrowded and overlapping teeth, decay is increased because you cannot adequately clean between the teeth. An extraction could help your teeth shift and eliminate this problem. 

Pain relief

Pain relief can be achieved with both root canals and extractions as they both remove the infection that is causing discomfort. However, for severely damaged teeth extraction will offer the fastest and easiest path to eliminating pain in the teeth and gums.  


Summary: Which Is Better Between Root Canals And Extractions in Toronto? 

Root canals and extractions both have advantages and disadvantages along with specific instances when each should be used. Overall, a root canal is a preferred method whenever a tooth can be saved while extraction is best for more severe damage. In some instances, extraction of a moderately decayed tooth may be preferred because it is faster or because a patient already has overcrowded teeth that would benefit from a gap.

The most important takeaway is that when it comes to tooth decay, the sooner you receive treatment the better your outcomes will be. While both procedures will cause discomfort, they will also prevent worse problems and pain from developing. An experienced dental specialist will assess the intensity of your tooth decay and medical history to recommend the best possible option for you.

Are you experiencing tooth pain? Unsure if you need an extraction or root canal? If so,  please, contact the caring and knowledgeable dental professionals in Ajax at Singer Dental today!

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