Should You Pull Your Tooth or Save It?
If you are in pain, pulling your tooth may seem like the easy choice… especially if it is diseased or infected. But hold on, not so fast! The easy choice may be to go ahead and pull that tooth, but we want you to know that it may not be the best choice. Many people understand the benefits of keeping your natural teeth. Choosing to save or pull your tooth is your decision to make. We just want to make sure you have all the facts and information prior to making your decision.
Benefits of Saving Your Tooth
What would be the benefit of saving your natural teeth? Endodontists are specialists that focus on saving natural teeth and we asked them for the answers.
- There is more strength in your natural teeth.
- They are easier to care for, they operate and perform better than artificial teeth, and overall they are stronger. Fabricated teeth do not function the same as natural teeth despite advances in technologies and materials.
- Avoids teeth from shifting.
- When you pull your tooth, a gap is created which allows teeth surrounding it to shift. It takes time for the shifting to occur but it can cause issues with your bite alignment and chewing. This can also lead to other issues like poor nutrition, pain, and quality of life reduction.
- Maintain your appearance.
- When a tooth is pulled, it causes a gap in the bone because the roots supporting your jaw are also pulled. The bone surrounding it will cave in which often makes individuals seem older than they actually are.
- Maintain confidence and decrease embarrassment.
- Pulling a visible tooth can have a negative impact on your confidence. We see patients all the time who have lost their bright smile because they are embarrassed by their missing teeth.
- Less painful.
- For several days or more, most patients say they experience pain after a tooth pulled… especially if dry socket is experienced. However, if you keep the tooth in place and go through root canal therapy, the infection can be eliminated, taking the pain with it. This route also avoids you from getting a dry socket.
- Less dentist visits.
- If you decide to pull your tooth – there are many alternatives your dentist may consider including: a crown, bridge, implant, or other devices that help prevent your teeth from shifting. These options can mean more visits to the dentist, more expense, and in some cases… more pain.
- Less Cost.
- Replacing your tooth instead of fixing it costs more money and time. We understand you may decide to pull it and not replace it, but it may have emotional and physical costs that come with it.
How to Save your Tooth
There are multiple reasons why you should keep your natural teeth as long as possible. Infection and decay make the decision difficult for you and force you to decide to pull or save your tooth. The answer to your problems is usually root canal therapy. The pain of a root canal is similar to the pain of filling a cavity, and is typically treated by endodontists or general dentists.
Through this procedure – the dentist will disinfect and clean the tooth to remove the infected or inflamed interior pulp. The pulp houses nerves and blood vessels that are located in the center of the tooth. A root canal will help eliminate the infection and protect the tooth if your tooth is broken or chipped enough to expose the pulp. This treatment will remove the dead pulp, clean the canal, then reseal it.
Typically the pulp is infected or damaged if you notice that your tooth is sensitive to heat, if you are having tooth pain, or if the tooth is changing color. If you fail to treat your tooth after it becomes infected, that is when you may need to make the decision to extract it. After the dentist is finished with root canal therapy, they typically cover the weakened tooth using a crown or fill it with a substance for protection and strength. The goal of a root canal is to make your tooth function like any other tooth again.
With a root canal you get to save your natural tooth, eliminate the pain it is causing, plus the recovery time is much shorter than extraction.
We go through a lot on a daily basis both physically and emotionally… But what about your teeth? We put our teeth through a lot everyday and often we take our oral health for granted. Surprisingly, there are many habits that can harm your teeth.
When to Have Your Tooth Extracted
It is preferable to save your tooth, but there are instances when extraction is the best option. Extraction may be required if the tooth is severely cracked in several places or below the gum line. Also, it may be best to have your tooth pulled if it is too weak to be restored.
You should always ask your dentist if a root canal can be done instead of an extraction if your dentist is suggesting it. Having this conversation with your dentist is extremely important to help you answer the question about pulling versus saving your tooth.
If you are in pain and are questioning whether to keep or extract your tooth, please call us and make an appointment today. The earlier you see a dentist about your problem tooth, the better chances you have of keeping your natural teeth.
Check out our blog on Habits That Can Harm Your Teeth. You can use this guide to help you identify the little things you’re doing or may be doing every day that could be wreaking havoc on your teeth.
You can also check out our blog on Cavities. Sometimes, identifying early signs of a cavity can help you save your teeth! Read more on our blog Signs You May Have A Cavity.
Learn more about the extraction process for the American Dental Association (ADA) CLICK HERE