Saving the tooth vs. extraction
Root canal benefits are often compared against the benefits of an extraction because they both treat the same problem.
When the pulp inside a tooth becomes infected, it can cause intense pain, and there is the possibility of the infection spreading into gums or the bloodstream. At this point, a patient will often turn to either one of two treatments: root canal treatment or an extraction.
Ideally, following treatment from a specialist endodontist, you should get to keep your natural tooth. Extractions are irreversible and can lead to a number of additional complications, such as bite problems and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, which make the jaw feel tight and painful.
Extractions can also cause your other teeth to drift or become unstable. This can lead to further corrective treatment and dental expenses.
Root canal benefits – Painless and shorter recovery time
A significant benefit of root canal treatment is that the procedure is relatively painless. In fact, patients who undergo root canal treatment are six times more likely to report it as a pain-free experience compared to those who have an extraction.
Where the recovery time for an extraction can be lengthy, painful, and full of complications, a root canal benefit is that the recovery time is far shorter. Most patients report normal tooth function after an average of ten days, with many saying the resulting discomfort was minimal and lasted only a few days following the procedure.
The wound size of an extraction can also drastically alter the recovery period and the pain felt. The patient is left with a large hole in the gum where a blood clot forms, causing discomfort and an unattractive extraction site.
The initial recovery period for an extraction can last up to two weeks, with a 2001 study finding that on average, patients who underwent an extraction missed 1.2 days of work and were unable to perform normal daily activities following the procedure.
Overall, it takes around 8-12 months to fully heal following an extraction, so if a patient is looking to invest in a dental implant to fill the hole, the waiting period will be extremely lengthy.
In comparison, often the only symptoms reported following root canal treatment are slight swelling, tenderness in the gum surrounding the cleaned tooth, and possibly some tenderness when chewing.
Root canal patients can go straight back to brushing, flossing and life as usual, with any resulting pain usually treatable with over-the-counter painkiller medication.
Root canal benefits – Lasting benefits
Following your root canal treatment, you may notice the pain disappears very quickly. That’s because, when the infected pulp is removed, the tooth’s nerve is too.
And, since the entire army of bacteria causing the pain has been taken out, there’s no chance the infection can spread any further.
This stops the risk of an abscess, which is a collection of pus that can form inside a tooth, forming in the gums or in the bone holding the teeth in place.
Compared to extractions, root canal treatments are much kinder to your other teeth. As no tooth has been removed, the adjacent teeth don’t have to move to compensate.
This means that symptoms which commonly follow an extraction – strain in the teeth, jaw and gum pain, and misaligned teeth – do not occur with root canal treatment.
Root canal benefits – Save your natural tooth
Of course, saving your natural tooth is the main goal of root canal treatment. Your adult teeth are indispensable, and it can be a huge knock to the confidence to lose one.
Extractions lead to missing teeth and a long period of recovery before the hole can be filled with an implant. That is why choosing root canal treatment is a such a popular form of treating tooth pulp infections.
Many of our patients are concerned about keeping their natural smile. Thankfully, root canal treatment allows them to do just that.
Unlike an extraction, having a root canal will leave the tooth functioning, healthy and looking just as good, if not better, than before.
Root canal treatment usually allows the patient to return to their normal diet almost immediately after treatment too, thanks to a temporary crown the dentist puts in place. Normal biting and chewing function should return a few days after the procedure, and other teeth will not be under strain when chewing food.
Root canal benefits – Efficient and cost-effective
Root canal treatment is thought to be a much more economical treatment option than extraction, as it requires far fewer follow-up appointments; making the course of treatment much cheaper.
The procedure is also reasonably quick, with a root canal on a front tooth usually taking around an hour and a molar procedure lasting for an hour and a half, with few follow up appointments.
At Dental Perfection in Hampstead, we offer a follow-up treatment to fix a permanent crown onto the treated tooth. The appointment should last no more than one or two hours. In some cases, it may be possible to complete treatment in a single extended appointment which would not be an option with an extraction.
Root canal treatment consultation
To help you decide about going ahead with treatment you can find out more about the costs of root canal or read our frequently asked questions regarding root canal treatment. We even let you know of any potential risks of root canal treatment too.
To book your consultation and find out about the many other root canal benefits, please call us today on 020 7431 2710, or pop into the Dental Perfection’s North London surgery in Hampstead.
We have been working with clients from all over North London (including St Johns Wood, Belsize Park, Highgate, and Swiss Cottage) from our Hampstead clinic since 1979.
Our North London premises are less than a minute's walk away from Hampstead Underground Station.