Pros and Cons of Saving vs. Extracting a Tooth

patient at dentist

We’ve all had that dreaded dream of losing teeth in our sleep. What happens when we are truly faced with this situation? While we may not want to think of needing to have a tooth extraction, there are many circumstances that can require this treatment.

Traumatizing events can happen in the blink of an eye. A piece of workout equipment lands on our face and knocks out a front tooth. You bite down on a hard candy and hear a crunch that crumbles your tooth. You hit a tooth with a fork while eating a salad. These are all real-life scenarios that happen daily. How do you decide if extracting or fixing a tooth is the right option? Ultimately, your dentist will give you options and help you decide what the best treatment option is for you.

Why Keep My Tooth?

Why keep a tooth when it is quicker and less expensive to just extract it?  While the extraction may seem to be the simplest option, all of your teeth play a collaborative roll in our dental health. If you take one piece from that puzzle, it can present challenges such as shifting and misaligned teeth, difficulty eating and chewing, issues with speech, and additional wear on remaining teeth.

If a tooth is savable and has a good long-term prognosis, it is ideal to save the tooth. If your tooth previously had a large filling, fracture lines or recurrent decay, your dentist may recommend repairing the tooth with a crown instead of an extraction. Crowns are a great treatment option that can provide pleasing esthetics and long-term stability for your tooth.

You’ve Got Options!

When a tooth must be extracted, your dentist will go over replacement options that may include implants, removable appliances such as a flipper or partial denture, or bridges. While these options don’t always seem ideal and can include a longer amount of time for a “final product,” your dentist can also go over esthetic options until the treatment is completed.

If you have any questions about replacing teeth, whether you need an extraction, have a missing tooth already, or are just curious about extractions and replacement options, be sure to ask at your next dental checkup! We look forward to seeing you!