Save or Extract? What are the benefits of preserving your natural tooth?

By: Dr. Samantha Rawdin

Save or extract? It’s a dilemma that can be very stressful for a patient! If you’re worrying about how we determine if we should save a tooth or extract it, you’re not alone! This blog will help you understand when to save your natural teeth and when it might be better to consider a replacement.

Benefits of saving natural teeth: 

We have great options to replace missing teeth, but none of them are going to be as good as a healthy natural tooth. Saving a healthy tooth will help maintain the jawbone in the surrounding area, help to prevent adjacent and opposing teeth from shifting and will maintain your bite. However, when we talk about saving teeth, it’s often in the context of fixing a problem. Whether that problem is trauma, cavities or infections, there often are solutions, such as bonding, crowns or root canals, that allow us to save the teeth in question. 

Natural Teeth: They Might Not Always Win!

While natural teeth are great, there are times when replacing a tooth might be the better option:

  • Tooth Trouble: If your tooth is badly broken or decayed, saving it might not be possible. Replacing it with an implant or bridge can restore function and make your smile look great again.
  • Gum/Periodontal Disease: Severe gum disease can loosen your teeth. In some of these cases, replacing the tooth and treating the gum disease might be necessary.
  • Wisdom Woes: Wisdom teeth can sometimes cause problems if they’re impacted or misaligned. Taking them out and straightening your other teeth can improve your overall dental health.
  • Ouch! A Dental Injury: If you have a bad dental injury, like a cracked or knocked-out tooth, saving it might not be an option. Replacing it with an implant or another solution can restore function and appearance.

The bottom line is this: It all comes down to prognosis.  If the recommended procedure is not expected to last for a long time or the tooth has too much damage to it, then removing the tooth in question is often the best option. 

How to Decide: Talk to Your Dentist!

The best way to know if you should save your natural tooth or consider replacement is to chat with your dentist. They can examine your teeth and gums and take X-rays to see what’s going on. Together, you can decide what’s best for your smile!

Remember: Brushing & Flossing Are Key!

Whether you keep your natural teeth or get replacements, good oral hygiene is essential! Brushing and flossing regularly will help keep your smile healthy and bright.

Regular dental check-ups are also important. Your dentist can help you maintain good oral health and ensure your smile stays healthy for years to come.

Ready for a Radiant Smile?

If you have questions about saving your natural teeth or replacement options, schedule a consultation with your dentist! They can help you find the best path to a healthy, confident smile. To schedule a visit, call us today at 212.246.8700. Follow Gallery57Dental on Facebook here!

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