Save or Pull? The Best Option for your Tooth

Is it better to save a tooth or pull it out? Learn about the pros and cons of getting a crown vs. pulling a tooth and make an informed decision. Read more on Swish Dental.

If you have an infection and pain in a tooth, the easiest solution may seem like it is to pull the tooth. Although removing the tooth may be the easiest choice, it may not be the best choice. There are many benefits for people to try and save their natural teeth and it is important to consider some of those benefits before making a decision.

Benefits of Saving Your Tooth

What exactly are the benefits of saving your teeth? 

  • Your natural teeth are stronger, and easier to maintain, than artificial ones. The materials and technology used to make artificial teeth is always improving but have yet to meet the standard of natural teeth.  
  • Avoid shifting of teeth. When a tooth is removed it leaves a gap in your smile. This allows the surrounding teeth, over time, to move which can eventually lead to problems with bite alignment and chewing. This problem in itself can cause pain, lead to poor nutrition and impact overall quality of life.
  • When your teeth are pulled they leave a gap in the jaw bone as well. Many times the surrounding bone can collapse causing people to lose a little of the youthful look.
  • It is harder to smile when you are missing a tooth (or teeth). Not physically harder but mentally and emotionally harder because you lose not only your tooth but you can lose some of your self-confidence as well. 
  • Once a tooth is pulled, many patients tend to have several more days of pain, especially when dry socket occurs. When the natural tooth is fixed through a root canal, the pain is quickly addressed and the infection is eliminated. This helps prevent dry socket as well.
  • Less expensive.  While it is easy to assume that pulling a tooth is cheaper than fixing it, the truth is that replacing a tooth costs more not only in money but time. Also, many insurance companies have strict regulations in regards to fixing and replacing implants.

When to Save a Tooth

There are many legitimate reasons to hang on to your natural teeth for as long as possible. If issues of decay and infection are impacting your teeth it can be difficult and force you to decide on whether or not to pull your tooth or save it. Many times the answer is a root canal as it directly attacks the problem by cleaning the inflamed or infected area. Once the interior of the tooth is clean, the natural tooth is filled with a special substance for strength

The root canal not only eliminates the pain but also the recovery time is generally rather quick. Best of all you save your tooth!

When to Have it Removed

While it is always good to try and save a tooth, there are certain circumstances that make extracting a tooth the better option. If a tooth is cracked, especially if it is cracked in several places and/or below the gumline, completely removing it may be required.  In other situations the tooth may be too weak to be restored and therefore may be better to have it pulled.

Come See Us!!

At Swish Dental we are always here to promote you and your smile. From General Dentistry, Family Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, to Invisalign and Sleep Apnea Treatment, making you smile is what makes us smile. We’d love to walk with you on your dental journey today!

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Last Modified:
August 23, 2023