Visit Dr. Sapienza's Official Author Page
398 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215 • Between 6th & 7th Street• Phone: (718) 965-6298

Root Canal vs. Replacement: Which is Best for Me?

April 8, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drsapienza @ 6:03 pm
Woman with black hair in dentist's chair holding her jaw in pain

Have you had a toothache that simply won’t go away or is growing progressively worse? Chances are that there’s an underlying oral issue, like tooth decay, that’s caused an infection or nerve damage. In many cases, a root canal is the best treatment to repair and preserve your pearly white.

Despite this, some patients wonder if it would be better to simply extract their tooth and get a replacement, like a dental implant. If you’re doubting whether a root canal is the right solution for you, keep reading to learn more about why your dentist might recommend this option, first!

What Is a Root Canal?

Cavities are a common problem and often can be addressed with a simple filling. However, if decay penetrates the tender roots, you could develop a painful infection. This is because the nerves and soft tissue, or pulp, on the inside have been affected. If the problem progresses, it can eventually kill your tooth as well as spread to its neighbors.

Although it may be too late to save the nerves, a root canal allows your dentist to preserve the tooth. They’ll create a small opening, clear away decayed materials, then clean and seal it. Then, they’ll fit you with a dental crown so you can continue to use it normally when eating or speaking.

Is An Extraction More Effective?

Many patients wonder whether it would be better to remove the tooth in question, especially if the nerves have been too injured to be saved. Your dentist might not recommend this as a solution right away, though, because it’s often beneficial to your overall dental well-being to keep it in place.

For example, did you know that after a tooth is lost or extracted your body reabsorbs bone mass from your jaw? It recognizes that the support is no longer needed and begins to repurpose resources. Over time, this deterioration weakens your jawbone and results in shifting teeth, changes to your facial structure, and even potential additional tooth loss.

A root canal keeps your pearly white in place to prevent these issues from occurring.

Which is the Best Choice for Me?

Only your dentist can give you professional recommendations based on the condition of your smile. Typically, they try to take a conservative approach and will do everything in their power to maintain your natural tooth. If the injury is too extensive and puts your oral health at risk, however, then they may suggest an extraction and replacement.

Either way, your dentist can help improve your dental well-being to keep your grin in good condition!

About the Author

Dr. Frank J. Sapienza is a second-generation dentist with more than 30 years providing a full range of top-quality dental services. He earned his bachelor’s degree from New York University and then achieved his DDS at the New York University College of Dentistry. Now, he’s a leader in the community who believes in attending to patients’ body and spirit in addition to their teeth. His dental spa combines state-of-the-art technology with comfortable amenities like aromatherapy, blankets and pillows, and massage chairs to help you relax during your appointment. If you have a toothache and need help, you’re welcome to request an appointment on the website or by calling (718) 965-6298.