We see it with many patients: you have been struggling with a problem tooth, and you want nothing more than to just get rid of it. The temptation is strong, but it’s one you should resist: keep a hold of that natural tooth as long as you can. Here’s why.

Nothing Is as Good as Your Natural Teeth

We have developed many exciting technologies for replacing your natural teeth, such as

dental implants. These are great advances on older technologies like dentures or dental bridges, but they’re still not as good as your natural teeth. Your natural teeth have the ability to flex and stimulate jawbone development in ways that dental implants can’t match. So we try to preserve your natural teeth whenever possible.

Many Teeth Can Be Saved

And the good news is that most of the time we can actually save your teeth and won’t have to pull it.

If your tooth is loose because of gum disease, we can stabilize the tooth and treat the gum disease to allow the tooth to fully recover. And with an infected tooth, we can perform root canal therapy to eliminate the infection and restore the tooth to full function. A tooth treated with a root canal can last as long as or longer than a dental implant (basically for life), and the success rate for both procedures is about the same.

Pulling teeth isn't always the answer

Saving Teeth Is Cheaper

It’s never a good idea to pick a treatment option just because it’s cheaper, but sometimes the best treatment option is also the cheapest. If a tooth can be saved with gum disease treatment, you’ll pay a fraction of the cost of implants. And root canal therapy, too, can represent a significant savings over a dental implant.

You Might Have to Treat These Conditions Anyway

Frankly, if we’re thinking about placing a dental implant, we might want to treat the gum disease anyway. It might make sense to try and treat it while the tooth is still in place rather than extract the tooth first.

And in some cases, treating the current infection in a tooth might be advised to help reduce the risk of spreading infection related to extraction. If that’s the case, why not try to safe the tooth?

You Can Always Extract Later

If you retain your natural tooth with gum disease treatment or a root canal, you might get ten, fifteen years or more before you have to revisit this question. And you can decide then that you want to get the tooth extracted.

But if you extract a tooth, replace it with a dental implant, and that implant fails, you’re in a much worse situation. You may need to rebuild the jawbone before you’re ready to attempt another implant.

Extraction Is Forever

Once we extract your tooth, there’s nothing that can be done to put it back in. You have to deal with replacements and substitutes. Some, like dental implants are very good. Dental bridges are also good, while dentures are not always good. And none of them is your natural tooth.

That’s why it’s best to explore all your options before deciding to get a tooth extracted. We’ll only recommend extraction once we’ve considered alternatives and tried any that are appropriate.

If you are looking for help preserving or–if necessary–replacing a problem tooth in Harriman or surrounding areas, please call (845) 783-6466 today for an appointment with a dentist at Harriman Family Dental.