Root Canal vs Extraction: Making the Right Choice for Your Oral Health

woman looking at teeth in mirror after getting a root canal

If you live in Lees Summit, MO, and have been experiencing severe pain in one of your teeth, you may be wondering whether to get a root canal vs extraction. If you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned patient, understanding the key differences between extractions and root canals can help you make informed choices for your oral well-being.

Here is what you need to know about a root canal vs extraction, when each is needed, and how they relieve pain.

When Can Teeth Be Saved?

A root canal can be used to save teeth that are severely damaged or infected. During a root canal, the dentist will remove the damaged pulp from inside the tooth and fill it with a special material called gutta-percha.

This foreign material prevents bacteria from entering the tooth and helps to keep it strong. But before a root canal can be performed, it’s pivotal that the infection is completely cleared up. Otherwise, there’s a risk of complications and further pain down the line such as the following:

  • Inflammation of the gums
  • Swelling around the affected tooth
  • Bad breath

When Do Teeth Need to Be Extracted?

When it comes to a root canal vs extraction, extraction is often viewed as a terrifying procedure, but in some cases, it is the only way to relieve pain and stop further damage from occurring.

When a tooth is too damaged or decayed for a root canal, extraction may be necessary. The dentist will use special tools to carefully remove the affected tooth while minimizing any discomfort.

How Each Treatment Relieves Pain

Root Canal

 A successful root canal procedure can help relieve pain by removing the area of the tooth that is infected. After the procedure, your pain should gradually subside as the infected tissues are removed. Then you can say hello to freedom from tooth pain!


Extraction helps to relieve pain by removing the source of infection. In some cases, patients may also need antibiotics or other medications to help reduce inflammation and pain.

Root Canal Procedure and Aftercare

The root canal procedure usually takes about an hour to complete and involves the dentist making a small hole in the tooth. Here’s what you can expect from the process:

  • The dentist will clean and disinfect the area to ensure that no bacteria remain.
  • They’ll remove the damaged pulp from inside the tooth, fill it with gutta-percha, and seal it off.
  • When the procedure is complete, you’ll need to follow up with regular dental visits for checkups and cleaning.

Extraction Procedure and Aftercare

Knowing what to expect afterward can help you prepare for the recovery process. Here’s what you should know:

  • The dentist will use a special tool to carefully remove the affected tooth while minimizing any discomfort.
  • Immediately after the extraction, your dentist will likely place gauze over the area to absorb any bleeding and encourage clotting.
  • You may need to take time off work and other strenuous activities for at least a day or two to allow the extraction site to heal properly.

Making Your Decision

When deciding between a root canal vs extraction, there are a few things to consider:

  • Your dentist’s opinion: Your dentist will be able to tell you which procedure is the best option for your particular case.
  • Cost: Both procedures can be expensive, but a root canal may be more costly in the long run as it requires follow-up appointments and regular checkups.
  • Time: Depending on the severity of your condition, a root canal may take several hours to complete while an extraction can be done in as little as 15 minutes.

Stehl Family Dental: Where Your Dental Procedure is Seamless

At Stehl Family Dental, we are committed to providing the highest quality of care for all of our patients. Our experienced dental team is dedicated to making sure your extraction or root canal procedure goes as smoothly as possible and that you can get back to living a pain-free life in no time. 

To learn more about our services, contact us today!