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Dentistry/Extraction vs Crwon


The last molar on the upper left side broke. There's no pain and my dentist says I have time to decide whether to have the tooth extracted or have a crown. The tooth also points out slightly towards my cheek which has been a source of irritation over the years so extraction is attractive but I'm concerned that it may not be the best choice.  My dentist gives me the impression that there's no difference for me long term.  I've only been a patient there for a couple of years and this is the first visit outside regular checkups.  Is there something he's overlooking or is it really no problem either way?
Thank You

Mike -  One of the key factors in deciding whether the tooth should be extracted or placing a crown on it is if the tooth touches a tooth on the lower jaw when you close down.  If, however, the lower tooth is missing, make sure to discover if you are biting on the lower jaw.

So the main answer is whether this tooth needs to be reconstructed or extracted.  If a lower tooth is in line or touches the upper tooth when you bite down it is important to repair the upper tooth.  Throughout life our teeth erupt.  The only things that stops that is the tooth on the opposite jaw it hits when we bite down.  If there is a tooth and this tooth is now extracted, the lower jaw tooth will continue to erupt and eventually bite on the upper jaw when you close.  

So there is definitely a difference, but that difference has to do with other teeth in the area.  If you need additional information or you have another question, feel free to contact me again.


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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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