Restorative Dentistry |5 min read

Root Canal vs. Tooth Extraction: Making the Right Choice For Your Smile

Man smiling at dentist chair thanks to dental crowns

Are you facing a dental dilemma, torn between a root canal and tooth extraction? At 16th Avenue Dental in NW Calgary, AB, Dr. My LeThis link leads to Doctor’s page and our experienced team understand that making this decision can be perplexing.

Your comfort is paramount to us, and we offer in-office techniques to ease any stress, anxiety, or fear you may have.

Let’s explore your options to ensure your smile remains healthy and vibrant.

Understanding the basics

Before we weigh the pros and cons, let’s look into the fundamentals of root canal treatment and tooth extractionThis link leads to Tooth Extraction page.

Root Canal Treatment

A root canal is a dental procedure to save a severely damaged or infected tooth. It involves cleaning the inside of the tooth, removing the infected pulp, and sealing it to prevent further damage.

In this blog, Understanding Root Canal Treatment: A Comprehensive Guide on What to Expect Before, During, And After The ProcedureThis link leads to a blog post about Root Canal Treatment, we explain the process in more detail.

Tooth extraction

On the other hand, tooth extractionThis link leads to Extraction page involves the removal of the entire tooth from its socket. This is typically done when a tooth is beyond repair, resulting from extensive damage, decay, or overcrowding.

Weighing your options: root canal vs. extraction

We understand that deciding between a root canal and a tooth extraction can be worrisome, but your dental health is our top priority at 16 Avenue Dental.

First, we want to address some reasons why you might need either procedure:

Root canal:

  • Preservation of your natural tooth
  • Removal of infection or damage within the tooth
  • Maintaining the stability and appearance of your smile


  • Irreparable damage or severe decay in the tooth
  • Overcrowding or alignment issues
  • Quick removal of the tooth from its socket (injury)

Some of the most common concerns we see patients express are things like preserving their natural teeth, long-term success, age, health factors, cost considerations, and treatment time. Check out this short video to learn more.

Comparing patient concerns: root canal vs. extraction

Below, we’ve broken down the most prevalent issues patients want to address when deciding between a root canal vs. extraction in our NW Calgary office.

1. Preserving natural teeth

  • Root canal: This procedure allows you to keep your natural tooth, maintaining the stability and appearance of your smile.
  • Extraction: While it removes the problem tooth, it may lead to the shifting of adjacent teeth and potential bite problems.

2. Treatment time

  • Root canal: Typically requires multiple appointments, as it involves thorough cleaning and restoration of the tooth.
  • Extraction: Generally quicker, as it involves simply removing the tooth.

3. Pain and discomfort

  • Root canal: It may cause mild discomfort during and after the procedure, but it’s manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Extraction: Can result in more immediate discomfort, with the need for stronger pain medication.

4. Cost considerations

  • Root canal: While it can be more expensive upfront, preserving your natural tooth often saves you money in the long run.
  • Extraction: It may seem more affordable initially, but potential costs for tooth replacement options should be factored in.

5. Tooth replacement

  • Root canal: Usually doesn’t require tooth replacement, as it saves the original tooth.
  • Extraction: A dental implant, bridge, or denture may be necessary to fill the gap.

6. Long-term success

  • Root canal: A successfully treated tooth can last a lifetime with proper care.
  • Extraction: Requires a replacement tooth and ongoing maintenance.

7. Complexity of procedure

  • Root canal: Requires specialized training and equipment, and not all dentists may offer this service.
  • Extraction: Generally less complex and can be performed by most dentists.

8. Patient experience

  • Root canal: Offers the advantage of keeping your natural smile intact.
  • Extraction: This may involve the loss of a visible tooth, potentially affecting your self-esteem.

9. Age and health factors

  • Root canal: Often preferred for younger patients with healthy teeth, as it preserves natural dentition.
  • Extraction: This may be chosen for older adults with multiple dental issues.

10. Doctor’s recommendation

  • Root canal: Dr. My Le at 16th Avenue Dental may recommend this option if your tooth is salvageable.
  • Extraction: If the tooth is beyond repair, Dr. My Le may suggest extraction as the best action.

Making your decision

The decision between a root canal and tooth extraction is not one-size-fits-all. It depends on various factors, including the tooth’s condition, your oral health, and personal preferences.

Rest assured that our skilled dental team is committed to saving your tooth whenever possible and providing reliable restorations to ensure your smile’s function and beauty.

Dr. My Le and our team at 16th Avenue Dental are here to guide you through this important choice, ensuring you make the best decision for your smile’s future. We prioritize your safety and care, tailoring treatment options to your needs and goals.

Looking ahead

As you ponder your options, remember that your dental health is a vital investment. Choosing the right treatment can lead to a lifetime of smiles and confidence.

Still not sure? To get a glimpse of our office and learn more about why 16th Avenue Dental is a trusted practice for your dental health, take a virtual tour of our officeThis link leads to Difference page.

Recommended course of action

Considering the complexities of dental health, it’s essential to consult with a professional like Dr. My Le at 16th Avenue Dental in NW Calgary, AB. Schedule an appointment today to discuss your unique situation. We’re here to support you in making the best choice for your smile.


16th Avenue Dental is located in Calgary, AB. We happily welcome patients from Mount Pleasant, Crescent Heights, Hillhurst, Sunnyside, Kensington, West Hillhurst, Capitol Hill, Rosedale, Tuxedo, Briar Hill, Renfrew, Rosemont, and Downtown Calgary.

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