Evaluation of the Reasons Why Patients Prefer Extraction and Refuse Root Canal Treatment

  • Fatima Khattak Senior Registrar, Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Dental College, HITEC Institute of Medical Sciences, Taxila Cantt, Pakistan
  • Sadia Paiker Senior Registrar, Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Dental Section, Islamabad Medical & Dental College, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Salman Khan Dental Surgeon, Dental Section, Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad, Pakistan
Keywords: Extraction, Pain, Patient Counselling, Root Canal Therapy, Treatment Outcome


Objective: Root canal treatment (RCT) has been widely used to save teeth from extraction and restore them
to their normal functionality by eliminating the pain factor and reconstructing their natural shape and size.
This study aimed to assess the reasons for patients opting out of extraction and refusing root canal treatment.

Materials and Methods: A prospective study of 150 patients over a timeframe of 5 months was carried out in
the Outpatient Department of one of a tertiary care hospital in Islamabad. Patients belonged to either gender,
their ages ranged from 16 years to 79 years. The inclusion criteria were patients with fully erupted teeth
having dental caries and symptoms of irreversible pulpitis but with a restorable prognosis.

Results: Most common reason for extraction was more appointments with pain (23.9%), followed by instant
pain relief by extraction (19.6%) and high cost of root canal treatment (17.4%) and others (4.3%) which
includes commute problems, travelling abroad, non-salvageable, orthodontic treatment, and severely mobile

Conclusion: The most common reason for choosing extraction over root canal treatment was pain during the
procedure. Public awareness about the effectiveness of root canal treatment is needed, and the pain myth
should be dispelled, to ensure that more people are inclined to save their natural teeth rather than preferring
implants or artificial teeth.