Root Canal Treatment is indicated when the pulp is infected due to decay or it gets damaged because of trauma. When Root Canal Treatment is recommended by the dentist then you may be scared of pain and expenses involved in tooth and may be feel like asking the dentist alternatives for this. When infection reaches the dental pulp, then three lines of treatment are available. Patient can get root canal treatment done or can opt for Apicoectomy or can get tooth extraction done. Root canal treatment or Apicoectomy will save the tooth so patient should preferably opt for them rather than getting tooth extraction done.

Root canal treatment should be done as early as possible. Delaying root canal treatment will only add to problems and complications. At times, root canal treatment needs to be delayed because of time problem between dentist and the patient, because of need of some other dental work or because of financial factors. By cooperation between dentist and patient, these problems can be dealt. By performing the initial aspects of root canal treatment, tooth can be temporized. Performing initial aspects of treatment will provide some relief to the patient from the disturbing symptoms like pain and the rest of the treatment can be scheduled for a latter time. Completion of the root canal procedure is very important for the overall success of the treatment. Tooth requiring root canal treatment is never predictable. Tooth may remain asymptomatic for long period of time or could proceed to give rise to abscess which will further cause severe pain and swelling. It is better to consult a dentist and get root canal treatment done to resolve the problem as soon as possible and save the natural tooth and avoid any dangerous complications arising from necrotic pulp.  

Options other than root canal treatment

Apicoectomy can also be done to remove the infection. Apicoectomy is the removal of infection along with the infected root tip and filling the tooth from the root tip side. It is done after the root canal treatment fails due to some reason esp. like persistence of infection.

Extraction of Tooth

Opting for tooth extraction instead of root canal treatment is a bad choice. When nothing can be done to save the tooth, then tooth extraction should be done.  

Extraction of the tooth is the most common alternative to root canal treatment to avoid any complications arising from the infection of the pulp. If a patient does not wants to or can’t get root canal treatment done its better to get it removed. The cost or simplicity of extraction might seem to be a good alternative to the expensive root canal treatment to save the natural tooth. But this solution might not be the simplest or the least expensive treatment in the long run.

If patient opts for tooth extraction instead of root canal treatment, then he has to get the missing tooth replaced. Patient can discuss his treatment plan before choosing tooth extraction instead of root canal treatment.  

Cons of tooth extraction

Losing a tooth can cause the neighboring teeth to tilt or shift in the space created by the loss of the infected tooth to a great degree which may cause serious dental problems themselves. This can hamper dental health to a great extent. Problems of chewing and the ones associated with the jaw joint are common with even the loss of single tooth so the space created so the space created should not be left empty. Keeping in mind all the Problems caused by a missing tooth a dentist might advice you to get the missing tooth replaced by an artificial one as soon as possible after the extraction of the tooth.

Tooth extraction and subsequent replacement of missing tooth

Getting tooth extraction followed by replacement of missing tooth is an appropriate choice if patient doesn’t want to get root canal treatment done. Patient can get the missing tooth replaced with dental implants, dental bridges or removable partial dentures.  

Dental implants: Dental implants are the best option for replacement of missing tooth. It is a prosthetic device which is made up of alloplastic material and is implanted in the oral tissues beneath the mucosal layer or it is placed within the bone to provide retention for fixed or removable prosthesis.   It is a better method for replacement of missing teeth than removable prosthesis in which the prosthesis rest on the gum line or the fixed prosthesis in which the adjacent teeth are used for the support. Dental implants are not as cost-effective as preserving the tooth with root canal treatment. 


Dental bridge:  Dental bridges can also be given to patient to replace a missing tooth. To give dental bridge, grinding (Tooth preparation) of teeth adjacent to missing tooth is done and may take many appointments and dental bridge have significant associated costs.

Removable partial dentures or flippers: To restore function and esthetics, removable partial dentures or flippers can be given to the patient. Flippers are cumbersome and cause unfavorable forces on supporting teeth and tissues.  


Replacing a tooth with a fixed bridge or implant or even a removable partial denture might actually prove to be more expensive than the root canal treatment the patient refused earlier thinking it to be more expensive than extraction. So the decision for getting tooth extraction done over the choice of root canal treatment should be taken only after understanding the pros and cons associated with both the procedures in your particular case. The decision for the treatment chosen should not be taken without thinking. If pain is present then dentist should relieve pain and then decide further treatment modality.

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