If your dentist has suggested the need for a root canal, you may be wondering if you'd be better off having the tooth extracted instead. Extraction is usually an option for a problematic tooth, but there are several reasons why a root canal may be a better option. Here's a look at a few reasons why your dentist may recommend a root canal rather than extraction for your tooth.
Protecting Your Jawbone
Extracting a tooth can leave the jawbone in that area vulnerable to deterioration. That progressive bone loss can cause your teeth to shift toward each other to close the gap and try to compensate for that missing tooth. This can affect the condition of your jawbone and it can alter your bite. You'd need to have an oral bridge or dental implant to avoid this problem.
If you have a root canal instead, there's no missing tooth to jeopardize your jaw line. Your dentist will probably even place a crown over the tooth to protect it from any further damage. This is less invasive than a dental implant with the same jaw line preservation benefit. You can keep your natural tooth intact and protect the jawbone with this type of treatment.
Avoiding Long-Term Complications
The bone loss that can accompany an extraction may cause a permanent shift in your jaw line, which can strain the muscles in your face. Over time, this can lead to problems with chronic headaches and trouble eating. While dental implants can help combat this, that means more trauma to the area with a bone graft to implant the post.
You may worry about repeated infections and problems with the natural tooth if you opt for a root canal. Since the dentist will treat the entire root to eliminate that sensitivity, and then protect the natural tooth with a crown, you reduce the risk of any long-term issues or repeated infections in the natural tooth. As long as the crown is secure and you care for it according to your dentist's instructions, you can reduce your risks of any further issues.
If you're trying to decide between a root canal and extraction, understanding why your dentist recommends a root canal can be important. With the information presented here you can make a more informed decision about how to care for that problematic tooth. Talk with your dentist today about what you can expect from a root canal to determine if it is the best choice for you. One professional that might be able to meet your needs is Van Buskirk & Krischke DDS, LLC.