Pulling the tooth and replacing it with a bridge, implant or denture is the only valid alternative to a root canal once a tooth has decayed or become damaged to the point of needing a root canal, states MedicineNet. Tooth replacement often costs more money than a root canal procedure.
Although patients may opt to extract a tooth in need of a root canal without replacing it, doing so can cause the remaining teeth to shift positions due to the gap, warns MedicineNet. Leaving the gap can also have a negative impact on chewing ability. Even when patients receive a tooth replacement, the artificial tooth can make eating certain foods unpleasant, notes the American Association of Endodontists. Most dental providers see saving the natural tooth as the best option when possible.