With a serious tooth infection, there are two options for treatment: endodontic treatment (root canal) or tooth extraction.
Dental Professionals Agree – A Root Canal is the Better Choice for Overall Dental Health
While having the tooth extracted may seem like the simpler choice, it can actually lead to complications in the long run. When a tooth is missing, the teeth next to it may shift their places to fill the newly-empty spot. If the surrounding teeth shift, it may lead to crooked teeth or a bad bite, and it can increase the patient’s risk of developing problems in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which can lead to difficulty in biting and chewing (as well as persistent problems with headaches, jaw clicking / sticking / popping, ear pain, dizziness, ringing in the ears, etc.). Teeth that have shifted from their original positions may become loose more easily, and they tend to be more susceptible to dental problems.
In order to avoid these complications, most dentists advise that any tooth that has been removed should be replaced. Replacing a tooth that has been extracted with an artificial tooth may require a dental bridge or an implant. Consequently, the real alternative to a root canal treatment is a tooth extraction followed by replacing the lost tooth with a dental bridge, implant, or a removable partial denture (all of which are much more expensive than a root canal)!
If the patient has the choice, it is always best to keep their original teeth. Endodontic treatment has a well-established success rate, and treated teeth can be maintained for years after the initial treatment. Research has proven that poor oral health and tooth loss may lead to serious medical conditions. Because of this connection, it is important to take the correct measures to prevent tooth loss since it can help maintain better overall health.
In the debate over whether a root canal or tooth extraction is the best choice, the winner seems clear – root canals are best.