Tooth pain can be excruciating and make it difficult to focus on daily tasks and activities. Although terribly uncomfortable, this kind of pain serves an important purpose: it gets your attention.  Severe tooth pain is often a sign of infection within the tooth. If left untreated, the infection can spread to your jaw, face, neck, and other parts of your body, resulting in serious complications with your oral health and your overall health. 

Severe tooth pain warrants a visit to the dentist right away. Treatment for an infected tooth typically involves either a tooth extraction or a root canal. Both treatments have their advantages, but most dentists prefer one over the other. Read on to find out which one. 


Should I pull my molar or have a root canal?

When a tooth is infected, the goal of treatment is to remove the infection. In some cases, this means removing the whole tooth (extraction), and in other cases, it means removing the infected tissue from the tooth (root canal). Here’s a brief overview, including pros and cons of each. 


Tooth extraction

The tooth extraction procedure involves removal of the entire tooth from the gum socket. The dentist or oral surgeon first numbs the treatment area and then, for a simple extraction, uses special dental tools to pull the tooth out, crown and root.  Depending on the complexity of the extraction, other specialized tools may be used to loosen the tooth, cut open the gum flap to remove surrounding bone, or even break the tooth into smaller pieces in order to aid in the extraction process.  Once the tooth is removed, the gum socket is cleaned out and stitched closed. 


  • Less expensive than a root canal in the short term
  • Can help to prevent future dental issues
  • Improves problems from crowded teeth


  • Potential jawbone deterioration
  • Resulting misalignment of remaining teeth
  • Additional cost of tooth replacement

Extraction may be the right choice if the tooth is impacted, broken down to the gum, decayed beyond repair, or doesn’t serve a necessary function (such as wisdom teeth).  


Root canal 

Root canal therapy is a procedure that involves removing the infected part of the tooth rather than the entire tooth. The dentist or endodontist first numbs the treatment area and then drills a hole into the crown of the tooth in order to gain access to the infected tissue. The inflamed and infected pulp is then cleaned out and the area inside the tooth is smoothed out and disinfected. Molars have 2 or 3 roots, each of which requires the same procedure. Once all the tooth’s canals are cleaned out and disinfected, they’re filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha, which helps seal the root canal and prevent infection. A crown is then placed over the tooth to help strengthen its structure and increase its survival rate. 


  • Preserves the natural tooth
  • Prevents alignment issues
  • Cost effective in the long-term


  • Treatment might weaken the tooth
  • Multiple appointments may be needed

Most dentists will opt to save the natural teeth whenever possible. And although a root canal is more expensive than a tooth extraction at the outset, it is a long-term solution that does not require the additional cost of replacing the missing tooth. The root canal is more budget-friendly in the long-term. 


Affordable root canals and tooth extractions in Mexico | BioDental Care

If you’re experiencing tooth pain and sensitivity, you may need a tooth extraction or root canal treatment. Don’t let the high cost of dental care in the U.S. keep you from getting the treatment you need. At BioDental Care, we offer the highest-quality dental services at affordable rates.  Your total cost for a root canal, including cleaning, post-build-up, and a zirconia crown is only $800, about 60% less than most U.S.-based dentists. 

For more information about root canal treatment or our full list of dental services, call BioDental Care at (619) 754-8508. We’re conveniently located right at the border in Tijuana, just minutes from downtown San Diego.