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Root canal vs tooth extraction

BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
edited February 2013 in Parent Cafe
I need to make a decision soon on a second molar root canal vs tooth extraction. I've always had problems with a few second molars and extraction is looking more attractive right now given the potential problems with root canals that I've heard of from others.
Post edited by BCEagle91 on

Replies to: Root canal vs tooth extraction

  • JustAMomOf4JustAMomOf4 Registered User Posts: 4,563 Senior Member
    I think if you can save the tooth, that is preferable. Don't shy away from a root canal because you have heard others had problems. It is very individual. There can be problems with extraction too - e.g. dry socket
    A root canal and crown is more expensive than extraction - unless you will get an implant.

    IMO - suck it up and get the root canal. ;)
  • nysmilenysmile Registered User Posts: 5,850 Senior Member
    I would try to save the tooth. Don't shy away from a root canal for fear of pain. It really isn't very painful. They numb you and if you do have any soreness, it'll probably be nothing more than a little soreness in your jaw for having to keep your mouth open for so long. The worst part of it is the time commitment because it usually takes about 3 or 4 appointments before the root canal is finished (at least that how it worked for me). If you can save the tooth with the root canal and put a crown on it, you're one step closer to avoiding a bridge in your future.
  • ellemenopeellemenope Registered User Posts: 11,380 Senior Member
    I'd make sure to get the root canal from a root canal specialist. But I agree with others that it makes sense to try to save the tooth if possible.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    This is a second molar so a bridge wouldn't be an issue. My dentist told me that he would push a root canal if it were between two others but that isn't the case here. I have a pretty high tolerance to pain - I've had a few dozen dental procedures without any pain-killers.

    My dentist wouldn't do this - he would send me out to someone else to do it. He would do the crown though. He has a neat machine which does crowns in one appointment. The amount of time that it would take is an issue given my current schedule. My guess is that I would have to wait until January to clear time for multiple appointments.

    I guess that I need to do more research given how everyone else is recommending them here.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,593 Senior Member
    I have been through this twice now including a very painful infection last week that had me up for two days--not even morphine would touch the pain. The only thing that did was a constant cold water bath over the tooth. I started antibiotics and now the pain is gone. I went to do the root canal but the stuff they put over your mouth and inability to breath well and swallow put me into a full panic attack and I got up and left.
    10 years ago I had a similar issue with another tooth and took the anti-biotics. Felt better so I skipped the RC and so far no problems. At my age I'm willing to roll the dice and not do it. If I have to I'll do it being put completely under as I'm sure that panic feeling would come back using the normal procedure.
  • walkinghomewalkinghome Registered User Posts: 7,705 Senior Member
    I had my very furthest back molar extracted. It had been filled a couple of times and needed something done. It was an easy decision. I did go under since I'm a pain wimp and had no side affects at all.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    I've had several root canals, and they were no big deal.
  • somemomsomemom Registered User Posts: 10,466 Senior Member
    My DH had a last molar extracted because it was actually cracked and the dentist said 50-50 it would have to come out anyway. DH offered to pay 50% up front and 50% in a year if it worked, but the dentist would not go for that ;) We figured the 50-50 was not worth the cost of a crown (not even a root canal needed. I think that is one of the big factors, is there any likely risk that the crown & RC will not be successful?

    If that is not an issue, you may want to save the tooth, you never know what will happen later and many people in their 70s & 80s are happy to have every tooth they can keep!
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    I have had tons of root canals done and several tooth extractions. Tooth extraction is much more expensive overall as implant is about $4000. In addition, you cannot continue pulling your teeth. Whenever I can save my tooth, I save it, except maybe for wisdom teeth, as dentist usually hs hard time doing root canal there. I do not know how many root canals I have done, but I have 5 implants and they are no fun and very expensive, although afterwords they feel like your own tooth and are OK. So, it is your personal decision. I have 2 dentist insurances, both of which cover implants, which is not very common. Good luck!
  • VeryHappyVeryHappy Registered User Posts: 16,861 Senior Member
    Save the tooth. Have the root canal. I've had -- oh, maybe half a dozen, and they're no biggie. It's just like a long appointment. They numb you like crazy, and any "discomfort" afterward can generally be handled by Tylenol. And, as someone above said, the discomfort is usually from your mouth being open for so long, some soreness on the gum from the novacaine injection, etc -- it's not an in-your-tooth pain at all.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,702 Senior Member
    I've had three root canals, never had a problem except getting the insurance company to cover the costs. It's time consuming and uncomfortable while they are doing the work, but the fake teeth look much better than my originals! I've had them all done by my regular dentist, it's one long appointment (maybe an hour) and one shorter one. So far I haven't need anesthesia for the second one though it's not very pleasant when it's going on, I feel much better afterwards.
  • LongPrimeLongPrime - Posts: 5,208 Senior Member
    After millions of years, it is only the teeth that is left for those in the future to remember you by.

  • mantori.suzukimantori.suzuki Registered User Posts: 3,347 Senior Member
    The tooth will still be here millions of years from now; it will just be in a landfill instead of in BCEagle91's mouth. Not very romantic, I know.
  • LongPrimeLongPrime - Posts: 5,208 Senior Member
    Would anyone in the future want to see his mouth? We already know what it looks/sounds/reads like in the current era. (Not nice)


    The big decision is whether you want an implant or a something else. Go for the gold, it cost the same as epoxy.
  • walkinghomewalkinghome Registered User Posts: 7,705 Senior Member
    You don't always have to replace it. Maybe my mouth is strange, I don't have/have never had wisdom teeth and did not get anything to replace the molar that was extracted. There's just a little space in the very back. Do your teeth still move around after you are a certain age so that you have to fill every space? Maybe it made a difference because I never had any wisdom teeth. They look good, not shifty or anything...
This discussion has been closed.