Azarko Dental Group Blog

Pulling a Tooth vs. Having it Fixed: What to Know

Some dental issues may cause you to wonder, 'Should I get a root canal or pull the tooth?'. Today, our Edmonton dentists discuss common (and some uncommon) reasons to have a tooth pulled, and when either option would be necessary.

Pulling a Tooth vs. Saving It

If you've got an infected or diseased tooth, having it pulled may seem like an easy choice, especially if you've been experiencing significant pain. However, your Edmonton dentist will tell you not to be so hasty. While having a tooth extracted may be the easy choice, it may not be the best option for your oral health. 

Most people are unaware of why we prefer to save natural teeth. 

If you're wondering, "Should I get my tooth pulled?', you've come to the right place. In this post, our dentists will present a couple of scenarios in which we would preserve the natural tooth, and when we would recommend having it extracted. 

When should a tooth be pulled?

While preventive dental care is our highest priority and saving natural teeth is always our goal, infection, fractures, cracks below the gumline and some injuries sometimes make this impossible. If your dentist finds that your tooth is too weak or severely damaged to be restored, they may recommend an extraction to prevent pain or infection from spreading or to preserve your oral health. 

While extractions are only performed if less invasive options would prove ineffective or if the tooth is compromising your oral health, these procedures are less painful today than historically, thanks to powerful anesthetics and access to dental technology.

When should a tooth be saved?

There are some circumstances in which we'd recommend saving the tooth with a root canal procedure or crown. 

By saving your tooth, we may prevent potential misalignment issues and chewing problems that can create a domino effect of pain and oral health problems in the future. Natural teeth are also stronger and function better than prosthetics or crowns, in addition to being more durable and easier to care for. While today's dental crowns, implants, bridges and other prosthetics are durable, they simply do not have the exact same strength compared to your natural teeth.

Depending on the nature of your dental problem, its complexity, severity and numerous other factors, your dentist may recommend one of the following options.

Book a Root Canal Procedure

A badly cracked, infected or severely damaged tooth can cause a few issues, including pain and swelling if left untreated. We've had many people come to us asking, "Should I get my tooth pulled or have a root canal?". By performing a root canal, our dentists can remove any bacteria, decay and nerves from a damaged tooth. We then help restore function to the tooth by filling in the space with medicated dental material. 

This procedure would normally take between one and three visits to your dentist. First, the dentist will remove the infected tissue before cleaning and sealing the interior of the tooth, then filling the tooth with a dental filling. 

If the tooth had severe decay, the dentist may recommend having a dental crown placed to strengthen the tooth and protect it from fracture. 

Have a Crown Placed

Many people ponder, "Should I get a crown or is pulling a tooth solution?"

If your tooth is not strong enough to hold a filling, your dentist may recommend a dental crown - a hollow, artificial tooth that can be placed over an entire tooth that's damaged or decayed to protect it from any future issues. Unlike fillings, a crown is fabricated in a lab using your unique tooth impression and is then sculpted to fit your mouth. Crowns can be made from many strong materials such as metal or porcelain, and they look and work similarly to natural teeth.

Dentists can place a crown as part of another dental procedure (such as after a root canal). They can also attach a dental bridge to a crown. 

What can I expect at my dental exam?

While the choice to have a tooth pulled or saved is ultimately your decision to make, we'd like to help you make an informed decision. We advise any patients who may be experiencing dental problems to book an appointment with us for an examination. If you are wondering whether to fix a particular tooth or pull it, we can assess your issue and develop a custom treatment plan for you.

Are you wondering whether you should have a tooth pulled or saved? Contact our Edmonton dentists. We are always happy to answer inquiries or address concerns.

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