Should I get my tooth pulled or a root canal?

I have a tooth that is super sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. When I was at the dentist, he said that the only way to save my tooth is a root canal. My other option is to have it pulled. Will I still feel hot and cold if I have my tooth pulled?

– Jerry in Louisiana


Thank you for your question. Based on what your dentist has recommended and the symptoms you have described, it sounds like the pulp inside your tooth is dying. A root canal treatment is your best chance to save the tooth. Your tooth will still be alive, but after a root canal you should not continue to have sensitivities to temperature. The tooth will be protected with the placement of a porcelain crown to help prevent further damage.

Although a tooth extraction may be a less expensive treatment, there are some other things to consider. First off, to answer your original question, you will not feel temperature if the tooth is extracted because it will be gone. The entire tooth will be removed, including the tooth roots. What your dentist may not have mentioned is that you will need to replace that missing tooth to avoid some other issues. When your tooth is pulled, the bone that used to support the tooth recedes. This is because the bone is no longer needed to support the tooth. Depending on which tooth it is, if it is not replaced, the surrounding teeth may shift into the open area.

A dental bridge and a dental implant are two options to replace a missing tooth. A dental implant is the best treatment, because it not only looks and feels just like a natural tooth, but it prevents bone loss because it is surgically implanted into the jawbone. It tends to be more expensive than a dental bridge. A dental bridge relies on the two surrounding teeth. Crowns are placed on those two teeth and a false tooth fills the empty space. This will help your teeth from shifting, yet you may still deal with bone loss.

So before you decide whether or not to get the tooth removed, make sure you meet with your dentist to learn about all the pros and cons of a tooth implant vs bridge. If your dentist just wants to pull the tooth and be done with it, you may want to consider a second opinion. For something like this that has such long-lasting effects, you need to find a dentist you can trust and that gives honest, straight-forward answers and options.

Hopefully this brief overview was helpful in your decision-making process.

This post is sponsored by Phoenix dentist Arthur Chal Esthetic and Reconstructive Dentistry.

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