When Is a Tooth Extraction Better Than Saving It?

A white tooth next to a dental mirror against a blue background to indicate a tooth extraction

At Sullivan Family Dental, we usually believe that saving your natural tooth is better than extracting it. That’s why we may recommend root canal therapy over a tooth extraction if the situation calls for it. However, there are special instances when it is preferable to go the tooth extraction route.


Some patients experience overcrowding or dental crowding. This is when there’s not enough room in the mouth for the permanent teeth to grow in straight, which causes misalignment and crooked teeth. If you have severe overcrowding, we may recommend a tooth extraction or a tooth extraction coupled with orthodontics so that there is more room for your other teeth to become aligned. Correctly aligned teeth are easier to clean, allow for proper chewing, and improve your confidence.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When wisdom teeth come in, they don’t always erupt the way they’re supposed to. In some cases, they become impacted, which means that they’re not fully able to break through the gums. Leaving a wisdom tooth impacted may cause pain, damage to the nearby teeth, or even infection. That’s why we may recommend having them removed before they cause more costly and painful problems.

Severe Infection

If you have a dental infection that reaches the root canal of your tooth, root canal treatment might be able to solve the problem. But if that infection is so severe that even root canal therapy and antibiotics can’t fix it, then extraction is the next course of action. If left untreated, that infection can spread and become a far more serious health concern. In this case, it’s better to get ahead of the situation and control the infection as soon as possible.

More Questions? We Have Answers!

If you still have some questions about tooth extractions, don’t be shy–reach out to our team at Sullivan Family Dental. We’d be happy to answer your questions about the procedure or any of our dental services. Just call or email our Westwood dental office today!