When To Pull (Extract) a Tooth & When to Save It

Many don’t realize the importance of having and saving your natural teeth for as long as possible. In many scenarios, a patient might have a tremendous amount of pain or discomfort and will simply want the tooth removed. While this might be the easy solution to the problem, it isn’t always the best.

While your specific situation will determine how your dentist chooses to treat you, it is important to first understand the importance of your natural teeth. It isn’t always possible to save a tooth, but here are a number of reasons why dentists will advise against an extraction if saving the tooth is possible.

The Importance of Your Natural Teeth

There are many reasons dentist will do whatever they can to salvage an existing tooth and only see extraction as a last resort. Here are a few of those reasons, all of which might make you think twice about requesting an extraction for your tooth pain.

  • Strength: Natural teeth tend to be stronger than fake ones. Yes technology has advanced in this area, but when it comes to strength, natural still wins.
  • Pain: Not only does a pulled tooth often result in more pain than other treatments, some experience a dry socket which can be extremely uncomfortable.
  • Shifting Teeth: Whenever a tooth is pulled a gap is left that can result in shifting of the surrounding teeth.
  • Return Visits: In order to address the gap left from a pulled tooth, you’ll need multiple follow up visits depending on if your dentist recommends a crown, implant or bridge.
  • Your Appearance: When a tooth is pulled, often so is the root that supports your jaw. This gap can cause a collapse in the surrounding bone, make people appear older than they are.
  • Confidence: A pulled tooth and the resulting gap that is there can have a major impact on your smile and self-confidence. 

While many dentists see extraction as a last resort, it is sometimes necessary. Whatever the case, it is critical that you see your dentist if you’re experiencing any regular tooth pain. They will be able to offer treatment options, but ultimately, you’ll get to have a say in how you’re treated. Just make sure to keep in mind the importance of your natural teeth, as listed above.

Additionally, there is also a small chance of side effects related to a tooth extraction. These can include bleeding, fever or chills (infection), nausea, cough, chest pain, and swelling and redness. Your dentist will be available should you experience any of these symptoms after an extraction. Ultimately, your dentist won’t recommend an extraction unless the benefits are greater than the minimal likelihood of these kinds of complications.

If you’re currently trying to understand how to treat your tooth pain, make an appointment with your dentist ASAP. Typically, pain is a sign of a larger issue and if left un-resolved and further complicate your dental health.