Alpha Dental

Root Canal & Extraction: Know the Difference

Root canal treatment and how it differs from extraction

Even though “root canal” and “tooth extraction” are commonly used in modern dentistry, many people are unaware of what each procedure entails. Lack of knowledge while undergoing these procedures can result in a stressful environment. We want patients to feel informed and at ease when they undergo unfamiliar surgeries. To that end, we’ve created this quick guide that explains these procedures and what to expect when you visit our clinic. 

Remember that root canals and tooth extractions are two procedures that dental professionals can perform to treat damaged or infected teeth. If you have a pulp infection, your dentist may recommend a root canal procedure to remove the infected tissue and restore your tooth. The only alternative is to extract the tooth, which may be necessary if it is too damaged to save.  

There is a common misconception that abscessed or infected teeth cannot be extracted until the infection is subdued. In many cases, removing the infected tooth is the most effective way to treat the infection. The treatment method used to treat the infection is determined by where it is located and how far it has progressed. Although comparing root canal vs. extraction may confuse you, understanding more about both methods can help you choose the best for you.

 Let’s understand why these procedures are needed to maintain good oral health.

When is a Root canal treatment recommended?  

Root canal therapy is sometimes considered a last resort to save an infected and damaged tooth, but it is a safe and effective alternative. Your dentist will examine your mouth and perform an x-ray to understand the cause and extent of the damage. If the pulp is damaged or infected, your dentist may recommend root canal therapy and explain the procedure.  

Root canal therapy is often chosen over an extraction because it allows you to keep your tooth. Even though the procedure might take longer than an extraction, missing teeth can lead to bigger complications. And if you plan to replace an extracted tooth, it could cost more.

When is an Extraction treatment recommended?  

A dentist will always try to save a tooth if they can, but sometimes a tooth is too damaged to be repaired. During these situations, tooth extraction is the only option to prevent infection and maintain good oral health.  

Additionally, there are some instances where teeth should be extracted even if they have not yet developed advanced pulp damage. These include:  

  • When your teeth are severely decayed. 
  • You are experiencing pain even after a root canal procedure. 
  • You have an impacted tooth. 

Root Canals: Procedure and Aftercare  

The dentist may recommend root canal treatment when an infection is not severe. At Alpha Dental, we make sure you undergo your root canal procedure at ease. To treat the affected tooth, our dentist will first numb the area before opening the tooth and removing the dead or diseased pulp. After removing the pulp, the pulp chambers will be thoroughly cleaned to ensure no bacteria remains. The pulp chambers will be filled with “gutta-percha,” a dental material that will replace your damaged pulp. Finally, to restore the tooth’s strength and appearance, an artificial crown may be placed over it. Your root canal may require multiple visits depending on your specific situation. Prolonging your Alpha Dental visit may cause the infection to spread, reducing your chances of saving your tooth.  

It is normal to experience pain for a few days following your procedure. This pain can range from a dull ache to sharp or acute pain, but it should be manageable with an over-the-counter pain reliever. If pain is too severe for you to treat on your own, or if it goes away and reappears, contact Alpha Dental for a solution.  

Tooth Extraction: Procedure and Aftercare  

If the tooth needs to be extracted, your dentist will numb the area, so you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. After that, they’ll use an elevator-like device known as a forceps to loosen your tooth while it’s still in its socket. And finally, they’ll extract the tooth with official forceps. You are likely to feel some pressure during this process, but not to the extent that will cause you to feel uncomfortable.  

After your tooth has been extracted, the dentist will make you bite on a piece of gauze for up to 45 minutes to clot the natural blood flow. Light bleeding and facial swelling are normal for up to 24 hours after the procedure, but ice packs can help reduce inflammation.   

For a few days, it is recommended to stick with soft, cool foods that won’t irritate your extraction site. Once you’ve been healed, you can go back to your regular diet.  

It may take up to two weeks for a healing extraction site to heal, during which time you should brush your teeth gently to avoid further irritation. If you are experiencing discomfort or pain even after tooth extraction or causing problems with the neighbouring teeth, it is best to speak with your dentist for a solution. Because every case is unique, contacting Alpha Dental and scheduling a personalised consultation can help you address your questions and concerns before proceeding with a dental plan or any further treatment. 


Making a Decision   

After examining your tooth, our dentists will recommend the most appropriate treatment method based on their experience and expertise. At Alpha Dental, we understand that the cost of treatment can be a concern for many people. That’s why we offer an affordable rate that fits every pocket. Choosing between root canal vs. extraction can be difficult, but a dental professional can help you determine what’s best for you and your oral health. We are here to help you whenever you need professional advice on a decision. 


If you have any questions or concerns about your dental needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at 


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