Root Canal Therapy, or Tooth Extraction?

root canal vs. tooth extractionMost dental cases involve options for treating any condition, depending on the patient’s specific needs and goals. In the case of root canal therapy, however, the only viable alternative is tooth extraction, which can have dire consequences for the rest of your teeth and oral health. Because of the compounding destruction of tooth loss, saving healthy tooth structure with root canal therapy, is typically preferable to extracting the tooth altogether.

Why Prevention is Optimal

Over 90% of adults in the United States have experienced a cavity in at least one permanent tooth, and many have sought treatment due to the discomfort caused by it. Ideally, tooth decay can be prevented with adequate dental hygiene (i.e., brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day) and routine dental checkups and cleanings. When cavities develop, they’re often treated with a dental filling that involves removing decayed dentin (the main body of a tooth) and restoring it with a manmade material, usually tooth-colored composite resin. When patients procrastinate, the cavity can reach the tooth’s vulnerable inner chamber, called the pulp. As home to the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels, the pulp is connected to the root canals that are embedded in the jawbone. When the soft tissue is infected, root canal therapy may be the only option for removing the necrotic tooth tissue and saving what’s left of any healthy tooth structure.

Root Canal vs. Tooth Extraction

Some patients may believe that tooth extraction is simpler than root canal therapy, and equally beneficial. They’re half right. Simply removing a tooth is technically less-complex than an endodontic procedure. However, a smile relies on a full rank of teeth, and if one is removed or lost, then replacing it as soon as possible will be necessary to preserve the smile’s health and function. If the tooth cannot be saved and must be extracted to prevent the spread of infection, then we may recommend replacing it with a dental implant—a prosthetic tooth root that supports replacement teeth like natural teeth and roots.


Dr. Bob Jing has served patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth for many years. Together with his caring, compassionate, and highly-skilled team at 7 Day Dental, Dr. Jing is dedicated to making good dental health available to as many people as possible. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation or appointment, contact our office closest to you at 817-405-2001 on Jacksboro Highway, or at 817-405-0195 on Seminary Drive.