4 Reasons to Save Your Tooth

When something goes wrong with our teeth, especially those hard-to-see back molars, it may seem like the best option is to just pull those babies and forget about it. Who is going to be checking the back of your mouth to make sure all your teeth are there anyway, right? While that may seem logical, in reality, while no one else might notice that missing tooth, you sure will! Extracting a permanent tooth is a much bigger deal than losing those primary teeth as a child. Those teeth are supposed to come out! Your permanent teeth are NOT! Haven’t you ever read “The Tooth Book” by Dr. Suess?!

This is why your dentist will suggest a root canal when you have an infected or cracked tooth instead of extraction. They know the importance of keeping ALL your teeth inside your head. Saving your natural tooth will be of great benefit to you, for many reasons including being able to eat good, proper meals! We all know how important that is!

On a more serious note, let’s take a look at the top four reasons dentists and endodontists say it is better to save your tooth than remove it.

Saving Your Tooth Is Safer

When you get a root canal, you are preserving your natural tooth. There is less of a chance of getting infections when you get a root canal compared to an extraction. Infection is spread through the blood stream, and when an infected tooth is removed, the bacteria in the tooth creates a greater opportunity for the infection to reach your blood stream. Some teeth are hard to extract (especially molars!) and this can be a problem, even with the right tools and an expert dentist! When a tooth is hard to extract, it can also lead to increased risk of infection.

Saving Your Tooth Is Less Painful

Lots of people believe that root canals are the most painful procedure a person can experience. This is just not true! Root canals are considered to be practically pain-free and the little discomfort that may be experienced is easily remedied with pain medication. Extracting a permanent tooth can be risky business. Even an experienced dentist may have trouble pulling those larger molars. The tooth could crack, causing pain and infection.

Saving Your Tooth Will Save You Money

In the beginning, when you get a quote from your dentist, it may seem as if a tooth extraction is going to be much cheaper than a root canal, and at the onset, that may be true. This amount can definitely change when you look at the bigger picture. If you decide to replace your extracted tooth with an implant or you have to remove several teeth at once and need dentures or a dental bridge, this can lead to a huge amount of additional cost.

Saving Your Tooth Will Keep Your Smile Looking Beautiful

When you choose tooth extraction over a root canal, you risk messing up the other teeth in your mouth. Teeth tend to shift to fill in the gaps of a missing tooth, which leads to misalignment of your other teeth. This misalignment can cause other serious issues including problems speaking clearly and chewing your food. While you can get dentures, bridges or veneers to hide the fact that you are missing teeth, the effect you will feel in your mouth cannot be disguised.

Keeping your natural tooth is always going to be your safest bet. With that being said, there are extenuating circumstances that may leave no other choice than extraction. Your dentist or endodontist will evaluate your specific condition and take a look at all possible measures to save the tooth. If they feel your tooth in not salvageable, they will discuss this with you during your visit. Remember, permanent teeth only grow once, and after they are removed, you cannot get them back. So, when it feels like the easiest option is to just pull it out, you have to know that the consequences of that action cannot be undone. Easy isn’t always better. We know that root canal treatment comes with multiple visits to the dentist, but this is a much better option than having soft, mushy meals for the rest of your life or having to deal with no one understanding your garbled speech because of tooth loss.

If you have any questions about root canals or tooth extractions, please feel free to contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Christopher Budig
Dr. Budig is Overland Park's premier Endodontist. As a Board Certified Diplomate with over a decade of experience, he specializes in providing painless root canal therapy. Using the most advanced technology available, Dr. Budig strives to give his patients a safe and pain free experience.