A damaged or infected tooth can be treated in one of two ways: a root canal, or an extraction. When a dentist is deciding whether to perform a root canal or remove an injured tooth, the most important consideration is the extent of the trauma. If the tooth is too badly damaged for a root canal to repair, then the tooth must be extracted.
Is the Tooth Beyond Repair?
Root canal treatment can only be performed on a tooth healthy enough to sustain its natural dental structure during and after the procedure.
Root canal therapy is the best choice when a tooth can be saved. During root canal treatment a dentist enters a tooth and removes all the infected soft tissues. These tissues, also known as the pulp, are a compilation of connective tissues, nerves, and blood vessels. The pulp is extracted, and the inner structures of the tooth are sterilized. The dentist then fills the tooth with gutta-percha a composite resin to prevent bacteria from re-entering. They also place a crown over the tooth to provide support and protection.
If the tooth can’t be repaired, then it must be removed. Extraction is necessary for teeth that are not able to remain structurally sound even after root canal treatment due to the extent of damage or infection. Cases, when the removal of an injured tooth is necessary, are a large cavity or a bad fracture. In these situations, it is not possible for the tooth to be preserved. Repairing a tooth in such bad condition would mean the tooth would remain weak, and prone to future problems. When a tooth is removed, it is replaced with a denture, bridge, or dental implant.
See Your Dentist Without Delay
It is important to visit your dentist to keep your smile as healthy as possible. If experiencing dental pain, you should go to the practice, and do not put off receiving treatment. Delaying root canal therapy may mean the tooth can’t be saved at all, and in that case, extraction would be the only option.