Teeth that are damaged or infected are likely to cause a range of symptoms such as throbbing pain, swelling, and drainage of pus. The symptoms can be debilitating, and patients with this problem need urgent treatment.
For teeth that are damaged or infected, there are two dental solutions that a dentist can provide: a tooth extraction or a root canal. These are two different procedures with a similar goal of preventing the spread of infection.
Let’s talk about the difference between a tooth extraction and a root canal, so you will know what to expect from either procedure.
A root canal is a procedure that aims to save teeth that are damaged or diseased. The dentist makes an opening in the crown of the tooth and proceeds to clean the diseased or dead pulp from the chamber and root canal. After cleaning the inside of the tooth, making sure that no bacteria is left behind, the dentist will shape the space to prepare it for a dental filling, also called a gutta-percha, which is a rubber-like, biocompatible material, to replace the damaged pulp. In another visit, the dentist may place a crown over the tooth to protect it and restore full function. A root canal may take a few visits for the dentist to complete.
If a tooth cannot be saved, the dentist may recommend an extraction. If a tooth has become too weak and the structure is compromised by the crack that is present, an extraction is an appropriate treatment.
Tooth extraction is either simple or surgical. It is called a simple extraction if the dentist is able to remove the entire tooth without making an incision in the gum. A surgical extraction is performed if the tooth breaks at the gum line. For a simple tooth extraction, the dentist will use a lever-like appliance (called a dental elevator), to loosen the tooth in the socket, separating it from the ligament it is connected to. Then, they will pull it out using extraction forceps. In a surgical extraction, the process remains the same, except the dentist first makes an incision in the gum to remove part of the tooth that is under it.
Does a tooth extraction hurt? It should not. The dentist will use an anesthetic to numb the site. As the tooth is being pulled out, the most that a patient could feel is a sensation of pressure, but no pain or discomfort.
Dr. Ari Binder of 360 Dental frequently performs tooth extractions and root canals. In our Eugene dental clinic, your comfort is a priority. Dr. Binder will discuss with you what to expect during the procedure and will take time to discuss methods to increase your comfort level.
If you have any questions or to schedule an appointment with us, call (541) 689-1645 or use our convenient appointment request form. Our friendly staff looks forward to helping you reach peak dental health with our range of dental services.