If you have a bad tooth that constantly hurts and seems to always get infected, you are probably looking for a way to permanently alleviate the pain and avoid the infections. Depending on the condition of your tooth, a dentist may decide to perform either a root canal or an extraction.

While a root canal can often save a tooth, there are times when it is better to have it removed. Below are a couple of possible reasons why a dentist may opt to go ahead and extract your bad tooth instead of performing a root canal.

1. Decay Is Causing Repeated Infections That Have Destroyed Most or All of the Tooth's Pulp

One possible reason why a dentist may choose extraction over a root canal is that the decayed tooth is being subjected to repeated infections. Along with the decay process and infections, the pulp of the tooth may have been mostly or completely destroyed.

Without the pulp, the tooth cannot receive the nutrients it needs. As long as some pulp remains, a root canal can be done to save the tooth. However, if the pulp is completely destroyed and is causing multiple infections, it would be better to remove it to prevent them.

2. Tooth Has Become Brittle and Either Has Already or Is in Danger of Cracking or Splitting

Another reason why extracting your bad tooth may be a better option than having a root canal is when the tooth has become severely brittle. After repeated infections caused by depleted pulp tissue, the lack of nutrients can make the tooth's enamel more susceptible to damage.

If the tooth is brittle, it may have already cracked or split open or could be in danger of sustaining these types of damage in the future even if a root canal were performed. In this case, a dentist may decide and proceed with extracting the tooth.

While it is ideal to have a root canal to save your tooth, if the decay is causing repeat infections and has already destroyed the pulp, the dentist may decide to remove it. They may also opt for an extraction instead of a root canal if the tooth has become too brittle and is already in danger of breaking. If you have repeated toothaches and infections, make an appointment with a dentist for an assessment to find out whether a tooth extraction procedure is needed for your tooth.

For more information on a tooth extraction procedure, contact a professional near you.