Is it better to replace a tooth or try saving it?

If you have a deeply damaged tooth, you may be debating if you should try to save it or get an implant. There are several important factors to be considered in each case, such as the extent of the damage, location of the tooth, and repair treatment options. Dentists generally recommend preserving your natural teeth whenever possible.

Benefits of Natural Teeth

Dental implants have come a long way in both appearance and functionality, but they simply cannot replace a natural tooth.

Bone structure

If you are able to save your tooth, you maintain the natural structure of your jaw and mouth, which allows you to continue chewing normally. Implants don’t always fill the space completely, which can lead to more than just chewing difficulties. Spaces between teeth can cause bone loss or collapse, in which case the teeth will shift to fill the space. This can cause your bite to collapse, which alters your natural appearance, makes it difficult to chew, and requires additional procedures to treat.


Natural teeth contain nerves that communicate with the brain. The brain uses these nerves to send signals that regulate things like how hard we chew. Implants can’t send or accept these signals that help protect the mouth, jaw, and teeth.


There are many treatment options available to repair deeply damaged teeth. In most cases, these treatments are less expensive overall than the cost of an implant.


Saving your natural tooth is the best option if it’s possible and healthy, but some cases do require extraction. If the tooth is missing or damaged beyond repair, an implant is an optimal option in terms of quality and aesthetic appeal.

Call or visit Oak Mountain Dental today at 208-237-6453 if you have any questions about our treatment or implant options.