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No one wants to have a hole in their mouth, but sometimes saving a tooth just isn’t possible or recommended. The decision is ultimately up to your dentist, and it will be based on an examination, x-rays, and other tests or information. Before going to the dentist, it is a good idea to know the basic guidelines for saving teeth or pulling them so that you can be prepared for your appointment.

Reasons to Save a Tooth

Dentists usually try to save teeth whenever possible. Having a missing tooth can cause a number of issues, including:

  • Migration of teeth, causing a crooked smile
  • Change in bite, which affects jaw strength and health
  • Difficulty eating some foods, more common when more than one tooth is missing
  • Your tooth may be saved with specific procedures, depending on the condition of the tooth and the reason for treatment. Those procedures might include:

  • Filling cavities
  • Removing the diseased tooth and installing a crown
  • Root canal
  • Whether your tooth needs to be saved because of a cavity, crack, or other damage, we can determine the best treatment option for you.

    The Decision to Pull a Tooth

    In some cases, a dentist cannot save the tooth, or it is not feasible to save the tooth. For some patients, cost is a barrier. Root canal treatment is expensive, and having a tooth pulled is much more affordable for uninsured patients. But there are also some health reasons to pull a tooth.

    If a tooth is severely cracked or if it is cracked below the gum line, it really needs to be removed. Those cracks can’t really be repaired, and they can lead to bacterial infection and difficulty eating.

    Another health reason to pull a tooth is if the root is dead and the tooth is already loose. This is most common in cases of moderate to advanced gum disease, which should also be addressed and treated.

    If you are experiencing tooth pain, a broken tooth, or a loose tooth, contact us today to schedule your appointment.