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Pull or Save? Which is Best for your Tooth?

Tooth Pain (Save or Pull it)

When your tooth is infected or diseased, it may seem like pulling it is the easy choice, especially if you’re in pain. But not so fast! Having that tooth pulled  may be the easy choice, but it may not be the best choice. Most people are unaware of the benefits of saving natural teeth. The choice to pull your tooth or save it is ultimately yours to make, but make sure you know all the facts before making that big decision.

Pull or Save Your Tooth: Benefits of Saving Your Tooth

What exactly are the benefits of saving your teeth?

  • Natural teeth are stronger. Natural teeth are stronger, function better than artificial ones, and are easiesr to care for. While technology and materials are better than ever, fabricated teeth still don’t have the same strength that natural teeth do.

  • Avoid shifting of teeth. When a tooth is pulled, it creates a gap in your smile, allowing the surrounding teeth to shift. This shifting takes time and can  eventually cause problems with chewing and bite alignment. These problems  can create a domino effect of pain, poor nutrition, and reduced quality of life.

  • Maintain your youthful appearance. When teeth are pulled, the roots that support the jaw are pulled as well. When there is a gap in the bone, the surrounding bone will collapse in often making people appear older than they are.

  • No loss of confidence. If the tooth to be pulled is visible when you smile, the resulting gap can have a negative impact on your self-confidence. Time and again we see patients who have lost their joyful smile because they are embarrassed about their teeth.

  • Less pain. After a tooth is pulled, most patients report several more days of pain, especially if they experience dry socket. When the tooth remains in place through a root canal, the pain is addressed immediately when the infection is eliminated, and there is no chance of dry socket.

  • Fewer visits. After a tooth has been pulled, you may have to consider a crown, implant, bridge or other dental device to eliminate the problem of shifting teeth. This can mean more visits, more expense, and sometimes more pain.

  • Fewer costs.  While you may think that pulling a tooth is cheaper than fixing it, the truth is that replacing the tooth costs more time and money. And choosing to not replace it will likely have physical and emotional costs.

Pull or Save Your Tooth: How to Save a Tooth

There are many compelling reasons to hang on to your natural teeth for as long as you can. But decay and infection can make that a challenge and force you to decide to pull your tooth or save it.

Root Canal

The answer is usually a root canal, a procedure where the inside of a tooth is cleaned and disinfected to remove the inflamed or infected interior pulp. Once the interior of the tooth is clean, the natural tooth is filled with a substance for strength and protected or restored with a crown, making it function again like any other tooth.

Not only do you save your natural tooth, a root canal eliminates the pain and the recovery time is very brief.

Pull or Save Your Tooth: When to Have it Extracted


While it is always preferable to save a tooth, there are times when extraction is a better option.

When a tooth is cracked, especially if it is cracked below the gum-line, or in several places, an extraction may be required.  

If the tooth is too weak to be restored, it may also be best to have it pulled.

We @PaloAltoDentalSpa always try to save the tooth before suggesting an extraction.

Having a discussion regarding saving or pulling your tooth with your dentist is important to help answer the question, pull or save your tooth? Want a second opinion or need to see a dentist about a painful tooth?

Contact us @650-321-6911 for an appointment or request appointment through online.

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