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Getting to the Root of the Problem: Root Canals vs. Tooth Extractions | Dentist, Wichita, Kansas

Dentist in Wichita
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Teeth are susceptible to infections due to the soft cavity at the center of each tooth, making tooth decay a prevalent issue among patients with poor oral hygiene. Not only does tooth decay alter an individual’s smile and appearance, but it also causes deep discomfort in the mouth, leading to additional pain when eating or chewing. Root canals and tooth extractions can both be performed to treat damaged or infected teeth but vary in their procedures. At Cambridge Family Dentistry, our dentists in Wichita, Kansas, have detailed the key differences between root canals and tooth extractions to help you choose which option is right for you!

  • Root Canal: Save the Tooth

    Millions of teeth are treated each year with root canals to relieve pain and save patients’ smiles. These procedures are endodontic treatments that replace damaged or diseased pulp, eliminate bacteria from the infected area, and prevent reinfection of the tooth. Inside your tooth, beneath the hard white enamel layer (dentin), a soft tissue known as pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue to help grow the tooth roots during development. Once the infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected, it can be filled and sealed. Unlike popular myths and old wives’ tales, modern root canal procedures can be performed in one or two appointments and are similar to routine fillings.

    Root canals can treat anything from deep cavities to a cracked tooth due to injury and are usually needed when a patient experiences tooth sensitivity, particularly in reaction hot and cold sensations. Some additional symptoms requiring a root canal may include:

    • A chipped or cracked tooth
    • Severe pain while chewing or biting
    • Swollen or tender gums
    • Darkening of the gums
    • Lingering tooth sensitivity
    • Pimples along the gum line
  • Tooth Extraction: Lose the Tooth

    In most situations, a root canal is an ideal option for patients wanting to restore their smile and save their natural tooth, but in some cases, a tooth extraction is the only option. Before undergoing a tooth extraction procedure, your dentist in Wichita will discuss your oral history and determine if the procedure is the right choice for you. Whether it be because a tooth is too severely damaged from trauma or decay to be repaired or a variety of other reasons, a tooth extraction may be required, meaning that the natural tooth will be removed entirely. Some additional causes of a tooth extraction may include:

    Infection—If the tooth damage extends to the tooth’s center where nerves and blood vessels are contained, bacteria can enter the pulp and lead to infection. Most times, this infection can be corrected with a root canal, but if the infection is severe enough that a root canal or antibiotics cannot treat it, extraction may be necessary.

    Crowded Mouth—Your dentist may choose to pull a tooth to prepare your mouth for orthodontic work such as braces. Because the goal is to properly align your teeth, if the teeth are too large for your mouth, you may choose to have a tooth extracted before proceeding with orthodontics. Similarly, if there is not sufficient room in your mouth for a new tooth to break through the gum, your dentist may recommend extracting it.

    Periodontal Disease—If you suffer from periodontal disease that has consequently caused your teeth to loosen, you may require a tooth extraction.

  • Making a Decision

    When presented with a choice between a root canal or a tooth extraction, you may not have a preference for resolving your dental issues and alleviating the pain, but it is important to consider your overall oral health and understand what each procedure entails. Although missing teeth have become increasingly easier to replace with modern dentistry, it will never be the same as maintaining your natural teeth. Additionally, tooth extractions require more dental appointments and require extensive healing, so take some time to think about which procedure is right for you. If you are unable to save your natural tooth, an extraction may be the only option, so it is essential to consult with your dentist before making any final decisions!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in all articles published on the Cambridge Family Dentistry website do not necessarily reflect the views of our staff members at Cambridge Family Dentistry.

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Are you looking for a dentist in Wichita, Kansas, to discuss your root canal and tooth extraction options? At Cambridge Family Dentistry, we have experienced team members looking forward to caring for your smile. Contact us at (316) 687-2110 to schedule an appointment!

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