Extraction versus Root Canal

Many people feel that root canals are problematic, too expensive and/or not effective and will choose to loose a tooth as opposed to saving it.

If faced with the decision to have a root canal or extract a tooth, here are several pros and cons of both as well as estimated costs.

Read more about the pros and cons of each option, below, along with some explanation on how we guide patients through this decision-making process.

Root Canals


  • The tooth and root are preserved
  • Minimal or no post-operative pain
  • No loss of jawbone structure
  • No possibility of super erupted opposing tooth
  • No shifting of teeth to fill in the gap


  • Expensive. Typical prices range from $750 – $1,300
  • Usually requires 2 or more visits
  • Require a crown afterwards. Crowns typically cost anywhere from $900 to $1,500
  • Slim possibility of needing a retreat or apicoectomy



  • Much less expensive. Typical extractions range from $100 – $500 per tooth
  • Often time require only one visit
  • Can be replaced with either a partial denture or implant


  • Several weeks to months to heal
  • Prone to painful dry sockets
  • Potential for opposing tooth to super erupt
  • Lead to shifting of the teeth
  • Slight chance of requiring additional surgery to remove bone fragments
  • Replacement with partial denture is expensive ($1,000 – $2,000)
  • Replacement with Implant is expensive ($3,000 – $5,000)

There is no evidence to support a root canal leads to other problems in the body such as breast cancer. However, losing teeth can cause a number of irreversible or expensive complications: loss of bone density in the jaw, other teeth have to take on extra biting and chewing forces making them prone to cracking and breaking, shifting of other teeth, etc.

Both choices have their pros and cons and our recommendation usually comes down to how savable is a tooth. If we feel the tooth is an excellent candidate for a root canal we usually encourage that option. On the other hand, if the tooth has serious complications and the chance of a root canal saving the tooth is questionable we may recommend an extraction with some replacement options.