Extract your tooth or save it

When a tooth gets infected and you’re in a lot of pain, seems like that extracting it is the only solution. But let’s not jump to that conclusion just yet. Tooth extraction might be the easiest and quickest solution, but it might not be the best in the long run.

Many people don’t know the benefits of saving their natural teeth. Now, even though the decision between tooth extraction and trying to save it is yours, we would like to share with you some fact that will help you make the right decision.

Benefits of saving your tooth

In order to know what are the benefits of saving your tooth, we turned to endodontists who specialize and focus on saving natural teeth. According to them:

Natural teeth are a lot stronger – They function way better than artificial teeth and taking care of them is much easier. Even though the technology of making artificial teeth is constantly improving, artificial teeth are still not as strong as natural teeth.

Tooth shifting – Once you extract a tooth, the gap left in your smile will allow other surrounding tooth to shift. This might not seem like a big issue but this can eventually cause problems with chewing and bite alignment. These shifts might create problems with pain, poor nutrition and quality of life.

Youthful appearance – When you extract a tooth, you extract the root that supports your jaw as well. The gap left in the boon will eventually cause the surrounding bone to collapse which in the end can make you look older than you really are.

Confidence – If you pull a tooth which is visible while you smile, the resulting gap could have adverse effects on your self-confidence. Patients that have lost their smile often feel embarrassed about their teeth so they tend to smile less.

Less pain – During tooth extraction, you could be experiencing pain for several days, especially if you have a dry socket. But when you don’t pull your tooth and save it, the pain you feel is treated immediately and will subside once the infection is taken care of. Also since the tooth remains in place, there’s no chance of dry socket.

Fewer visits to the dentist – When you pull a tooth, you need to consider whether you want to replace it with something else, to fill in the gap in order to avoid some of the complications mentioned above. If you decide to replace it, you’ll most likely get a crown, implant, dental bridge or other solution. Which will of course mean that you will have to go to your dentist a few times more. The additional visits will of course incur more expenses.

Lower costs – It’s true that pulling a tooth costs less money than trying to save it. However, after tooth extraction you need think about filling in the gap and when you add together all those costs, it turns out that saving a tooth is a lost cheaper than pulling it out.

How to save a tooth?

There are number of reasons why you should stick to your natural teeth as long as possible. But in time and due to tooth decay, you might need to make a decision whether you have the tooth pulled or saved. If you decide that you want to save it, the best (and most recommended) way to do so is through a procedure called root canal. With the procedure, the inside of the infected tooth is cleaned and disinfected, the dentist will remove the inflamed/infected interior pulp. Once clean, the inside of the tooth is then filled with a substance and closed with a crown.

This procedure not only saves your natural tooth, but it will also eliminate the pain and the recovery is very short.

When to pull your tooth?

Even though it’s always preferable to try and save a tooth, sometimes that’s not possible. For example, if the tooth is cracked, on multiple places and below the gumline, extraction is the only way to go. Or if the tooth is too weak to be restored, it’s best to have it pulled.

In case you dentists recommends that you pull the tooth, ask if you could have a root canal done. This could turn out to be a good alternative to tooth extractions and help you save your natural teeth.



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Dr. Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen

Dr. Nguyen is committed to providing high-quality dentistry using state-of-the-art equipment to help you achieve improved oral health and the beautiful smile you deserve.

Dr. Nguyen has served on the Virginia Board of Dentistry and has many achievements such as: Invisalign Premier and Teen Provider, Pre-Fellow with Academy of General Dentistry, Graduate of Aesthetic Continuum, Engel Institute for Dental Implant Training, WaveOne Endodontic Training, HD President’s Club.

Dr. Nguyen enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, staying active in the gym, and trying out new restaurants.  When he isn’t at work, you can find him playing basketball, tennis, football, or hiking.

“I want to make you feel right at home, exceed your expectations, and provide an amazing experience!”