Restorative Dentistry |3 min read

Root Canal vs. Extraction: What’s The Difference?

Woman holding her chin, questioning something

Are you wondering the difference between a root canal and an extraction?

We have the answer for you.

In this quick blog, we’ll discuss

  • The difference between a root canal and extractions
  • If a root canal is cheaper than an extraction
  • Which one is better
  • And more!

Let’s dive right in.

What’s the difference between a root canal and extraction?

A root canal and a tooth extraction are procedures dentists use to treat damaged or decaying teeth.

The most significant difference between the two is that a root canal saves your tooth while an extraction removes your damaged tooth.

Root canal

A root canal is used to save a tooth that has damaged pulp, the soft tissue that helps grow the root of your tooth during development.

When your tooth has unexpected trauma or severe decay, it damages the pulp.

Since your fully developed tooth doesn’t necessarily need the pulp to function, it can be removed, and your tooth will be nourished by the surrounding tissues instead.

So, your overall tooth is still viable, and a root canal will preserve as much of your natural tooth as possible.


Unfortunately, sometimes your dentist can’t save your tooth.

In this case, the best option is to remove it to prevent further damage and decay.

A tooth extraction is needed when your tooth is irreversibly damaged. This tends to happen with a cavity that’s too large and compromises your entire tooth’s structure, or if you have a severe fracture that your dentist can’t fix.

After an examination, your dentist will determine if your tooth is still viable or if it needs to be removed before it causes further damage.

Does a root canal hurt more than extractions?

With modern technology and a local anesthetic, your treatments will be stress-free.


A root canal may hurt less than a tooth extraction.

The American Association of Endodontics… This text opens a new tab to the American Association of Endodotics website… claims patients who experienced root canals are six times more likely to describe it as painless versus those who got a tooth extraction.

After either procedure, you may feel minor discomfort, but your dentist will give you aftercare instructions to minimize tenderness.

Both procedures work to alleviate pain from decayed or damaged teeth.

Is a root canal cheaper than an extraction?

A root canal does cost less than getting your tooth extracted.

When you get your tooth extracted, the following steps are replacing your missing tooth with a dental implant, bridge, or denture.

After a root canal, you’ll usually get a dental crown to seal the tooth.

Most dental insurances cover root canals, so you’ll save more of your natural tooth and money!

What’s best: root canal or extraction?

This depends entirely on your situation. Your dentist will make a recommendation based on the extent of infection and damage your tooth has.

Of course, preserving your natural tooth is ideal.

But sometimes, the damage is too significant, and the tooth needs to be let go.

Overall, most dentists will recommend a root canal when possible because there’s nothing quite like your natural tooth.

Where can I get a root canal or extraction in Beaverton, OR?

At Harmony Dental, we understand the importance of protecting your teeth’s integrity.

Dr. Bruno da Costa offers both root canal treatments and extraction procedures to take care of your smile’s health as best as possible.

Keep your teeth safe, and schedule your appointment today!

Request an Appointment

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Harmony Dental is conveniently located in Beaverton, OR.… This text opens a new tab to the Google Maps website… We happily welcome patients from the neighboring communities, including Tigard, Aloha, Portland, Cedar Hills, Lake Oswego, Raleigh Hills, Sherwood, Garden Home-Whitford, Tualatin, and West Slope.

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