Is it Better to Get a Root Canal or Pull the Tooth?

Is it Better to Get a Root Canal or Pull the Tooth?

April 1, 2024

When faced with severe tooth pain or damage, you’re presented with a critical decision: should you opt for a root canal or have the tooth pulled? This question isn’t just about alleviating immediate discomfort—it’s about considering the future of your oral health. At Sanborn Dental Associates, we understand the gravity of this decision and are here to guide you through each option’s nuances.

Fundamental Distinctions Between Root Canal Therapy and Tooth Removal

Root canal therapy is a dental intervention aimed at preserving a tooth severely affected by decay or infection. During the procedure, an endodontist treatment specialist near you or a general dentist will remove the tooth’s damaged area, clean the remaining space, and then fill and seal it. Contrarily, tooth extraction involves completely removing the tooth from the mouth. While both procedures address the issue of tooth damage or decay, their long-term impacts and objectives differ significantly.

Preserving Natural Teeth and Its Impact on Oral Health

Preserving your natural teeth has numerous benefits for your oral health. Natural teeth maintain the alignment of surrounding teeth, support proper chewing function, and sustain jawbone health. A root canal helps preserve these functions by saving the tooth, whereas extraction can lead to shifting teeth, potential bite issues, and the need for dental implants or bridges.

Long-term Implications of Pulling a Tooth

The decision to extract a tooth comes with its set of long-term implications. Beyond possible issues with teeth alignment, removing a tooth can result in gradual jawbone deterioration, impacting facial contours and the steadiness of adjacent teeth. Substituting a removed tooth with a bridge or implant necessitates extra steps and expenses.

Can a Root Canal Save a Severely Damaged Tooth?

Indeed, root canal treatment can rescue a tooth that’s significantly compromised. This procedure is specifically designed to remove infection and damage from the tooth’s pulp, preserving the tooth’s structure and function. Endodontic therapy, mainly when performed by a specialist, has a high success rate in saving even severely compromised teeth.

Cost Considerations for Root Canal vs. Extraction

Cost is a significant consideration when choosing between a root canal and extraction. Generally, a root canal followed by a crown is more expensive upfront than an extraction. However, when considering the cost of tooth replacement options following an extraction, such as implants or bridges, the long-term costs can be comparable, if not more, than those of a root canal.

Comparing Recovery Times Between the Two Procedures

Recovery times between a root canal and tooth extraction vary. Root canal recovery is typically quick, with most patients resuming normal activities within a day. Pain, if present, is usually manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers. Extraction, especially of a molar or if complications arise, might require a more extended recovery period and more significant pain management.

Consult With Us to Explore Your Best Option

At our dental office in Sanborn, we emphasize the importance of individual consultation to explore the best option for your situation. Regardless of whether root canal therapy or tooth removal is advised, our focus is to equip you with the knowledge and attention required to choose a path that matches your dental health objectives.


The decision to opt for either root canal therapy or tooth removal hinges on multiple aspects, such as the level of tooth harm, financial factors, and the enduring effects on dental health. While the immediate inclination might be to remove a problematic tooth, it’s essential to consider the benefits of preserving natural teeth through procedures like root canals. Ultimately, consulting with dental professionals at Sanborn Dental Associates or a trusted endodontist for root treatment near you can help ensure that your decision is the best for your oral and overall health. Remember, the goal is to address the current issue and provide a healthy, functional smile for years to come.