Dental Extraction Vs. Crown: When Your Dentist Might Pull The Tooth Instead Of Crowning It

For most people, the thought of having a tooth extracted makes them cringe, maybe even cry. If it is not the pain that gets to you, it is probably the fact that you look toothless, and that leaves a lot of image-conscious people uncomfortable. Your dentist does have a choice in the matter, as do you. Sometimes a tooth can be crowned rather than extracted. Here is how your dentist might decide to pull a tooth rather than crown it (or advise you to extract rather than crown). 

There Is Not Enough Tooth to Crown

A damaged tooth is sometimes too badly damaged to crown. Your dentist knows that there has to be a reasonable stump of living tooth onto which a crown can be attached. If that reasonable stump is not available, there is no way for a crown to stay put. Extraction is the only option. You may choose to substitute an implant or bridge at a later date to replace the extracted tooth. 

Your Insurance Will Not Cover a Crown-- Only an Extraction

Dental insurance is odd sometimes. If your insurance will cover the cost of having a tooth removed and not cover the cost of crowning a tooth, that means that you could have a crown, but you will have to pay for it out of pocket. If you do not have that much money and cannot budget the crown, your insurance will cover the cost of removing the tooth. Then you can decide what to do about it later. (This is often the case with insurance companies that consider a crown a "cosmetic" procedure. Check with your insurance provider before heading into the dental office.)

There Is a Major Abscess under the Tooth

A major abscess under a tooth indicates that the root or roots of the tooth are already rotten. Combined with a damaged or rotten crown on the tooth, and your dentist is going to want to remove the whole mess. The tooth would be pulled first, followed by a draining and flushing of the abscess pocket. Your dentist would then stitch up the hole in your gum. You would need to take antibiotics for seven to ten days to kill any remaining bacteria in the wound. When things are this bad, you have to look at your overall oral health first, rather than look at the loss of a problematic tooth and gapped grin. 

Speak to a dentist to learn more about dental extractions.