What Is the Difference Between a Root Canal and a Root Extraction?

If your dentist discovers a problem with your tooth’s anatomical root, they may recommend a root canal or root extraction. You may assume these treatment approaches are identical, but they are diametrically opposed. While root canal treatments are a restorative attempt to save a tooth, a root extraction intends to remove the rest of a tooth after decay or trauma have severely compromised it.

How Do These Procedures Differ?

How is it possible for two techniques involving the same part of the tooth to differ so much? Dentists must consider various treatment alternatives for severely damaged teeth.

When longstanding dental decay or trauma have affected a tooth, simple composite fillings can’t repair it. While patients’ desires are always our top priority, the approach we recommend will primarily depend on how extensive the damage is.

If a tooth’s root has become compromised, it’s undoubtedly a serious problem. Still, root canals and root extractions have different indications.

  • Root canal: As we’ve already touched on, root canals are a final effort to restore severely damaged teeth. Completing a root canal requires a dentist to place a filling or a dental crown in the tooth. Though this technique can restore function and aesthetics, it also weakens the affected tooth. The only condition affecting this treatment’s success is how much tooth structure remains after the procedure. For severely compromised teeth, dentists need to consider alternative solutions.
  • Root extraction: Sometimes, when cavities or trauma have eroded your teeth, the crowns are no longer present, and the only structure left is the roots. At this point, fillings are not an option, and roots can only support dental crowns in rare cases. If the damage is this extensive, there’s no choice but to extract the root and consider tooth replacement alternatives.

Which Treatment Is More Convenient?

Ultimately, this decision isn’t a question of accessibility. Dentists who have your best interests at heart will recommend the most practical solution for your circumstances. Where possible, root canals will always be the better choice, since they preserve your teeth while saving you money and time. But if this is out of the question, you need to have the root extracted, and our surgeons will explain your options from that moment onward.

Expert Oral Surgeons for Your Needs

In many cases, the same dental problem has several solutions, so it’s always advisable to get an assessment from an experienced dentist or oral surgeon who can walk you through your various alternatives. At Hill Country Oral Surgery, we look forward to welcoming you to either of our locations in Austin and Buda, Texas.

If you have any questions about your dental care, do not hesitate to contact our team and schedule a consultation!