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Don’t Wait Too Long To Extract A Bad Tooth!

The absolute worst thing you can do is wait to pull a bad tooth. 

Many times a really bad tooth is painful, but then it gets better! You know and have been told that it needs to be extracted but you decide to wait because the pain is gone…for now.

In the old days, "keep it until it falls out" was the mantra.  The exact opposite is true today.

If the tooth needs to be extracted due to gum disease, which causes bone loss, the situation only worsens.  Your body is trying to “self-extract” your tooth by dissolving the surrounding bone and making it loose. 

Eventually, it will fall out!  All that time, it has dissolved all the good bone around it that would have supported a dental implant.

Dental implants need great bone support.  Waiting to remove a tooth only compromises the bone and makes having a dental implant more expensive than it needs to be.

In this picture below, you can see how the gum disease has dissolved away the gum and bone making the teeth longer.


Look at this x-ray.  Do you see how the bone is missing from gum disease?

X52746 X52317_1

Extracting the bad tooth will reduce the need for bone grafting or sinus lifts making it a very easy procedure for you.

Here are some examples of simple dental implants:

X52317 X52317_2

Feel free to share your thoughts on waiting to remove a bad tooth.

42 thoughts on “Don’t Wait Too Long To Extract A Bad Tooth!

  1. I have a bad tooth that always needs fillings and I’ve had over four different fillings for the same tooth everytime, why won’t my dentist listen to me when I tell him to pull it.

  2. I have a wisdom tooth that has a large hole in it. It is becoming extremely and constantly painful. I don’t have and dental insurance and I cannot find any place that will extract it on a payment plan without a bunch of money up front. What can I do to stop the pain until I can save up for the extraction?

  3. I’m not sure if the dentist removed all the tooth on a recent extraction. It is actually more bothersome now than before.

  4. Dental Schools now charge mega-bucks. I don’t know why people keep saying to use them. I can’t afford dentistry either, and my local Univ. Dental School Clinic wanted $40,000. They used to help people out, but no longer do. Maybe for something really simple… like simple extraction, check up, etc. Not for anything complex. You are better off with a dental clinic– if you can find one (few and far between). Anywhere you go, unless you can get Medicaid to pay for it, you will probably it need to cough up at least $100 for a simple extraction. If you need something more extensive, God help you. There are also some credit cards for dentistry, but I’ve heard they’re a ripoff with high APRs. Advocate for good health care, with dentistry, etc.

  5. I’m 36 year old male and have avoided dentists as much as I could in the past. Because of this, the damage to my teeth has gotten so severe that my smile could make small children cry and the remains of several teeth have dropped below the gum line. I have survived the last 20 years by visiting clinics for antibiotics whenever a toothache occurred and left it at that. I knew my teeth were bad and I’ve had two extracted so far. But, now that wisdom and worry is finally sinking in, I want to better understand the risks I face by only fighting the infections as they occur. The last two tooth pains I had spread under my jaw and towards my ear and I’m concerned about future complications. I didn’t know about bone decay before reading this article and don’t intend on getting any implants, but until I walk into a dental office with a firm understanding of what needs to be done, I’d like to ask for your guidance and advice.

    1. Thanks for your candor. You are harming your entire body by continuing to do this. You should consider extraction of all bad teeth while under IV sedation. This will clear up the infections. Dentures or partial dentures if no implants are really the only good option if many teeth can not be saved.
      Sorry and good luck.

  6. Back molar should been extracted months ago. Life happened. Not much pain to remind me. Appt set for consult tomorrow, but very tender now and swollen. What’s happening because I waited too long?

      1. I have the same problem but have had problems getting an appointment to see a dentist with my Louisiana Healthcare Connections medicaid. Is abcessed twice and is falling all apart but one place says they don’t have anything until Nov 1st and another says they would call with an appointment but never calls. Its like you don’t matter

  7. My dentist is making me wait three weeks before he can do the extraction, is that too long? I feel pretty scared of the whole procedure but I’m willing to go through with it. Should I be on antibiotics in the interim?

      1. Hi Everyone,
        I would encourage anyone with a bad tooth to see a dentist. ASAP. Waiting could jeopardize other parts of your sinus, face, other teeth…
        Had my bad tooth extracted in August, and so happy to have the infection out and the fistula resolved. . Bone graph was done the same day. Going for X-rays on the 28th to see if we can schedule the implant. According to the dentist, the root was cracked in several places. I would highly recommend the procedure. Plenty of novacaine, so I had no pain during procedure. Well worth it in the end!! Just make sure you get a skilled surgeon you have confidence in.

          1. Got my sinus lift and implant done on Feb 3. Happy to report mouth feels great! Hopefully smooth sailing ahead for a brand new crown!! Best advice choose an experienced surgeon.

    1. they are likely to avoid pulling while your tooth is still in pain. i assume the pain in your case is due to infection. two things are likely to happen if they pull the tooth while infected. its possible that the infection, if bad enough, can leach into your blood, contaminate it, and make its way from your jaw to your brain and potentially kill you. thats the worse case. the other thing is the numbing agent wont really have much affect, if any at all. haha i had the procedure already and the numbing had nearly no effect because i just couldnt wait to have it pulled and i could feel everything. so if you’re worried now, than take the antibiotics as suggested and it shouldnt even take three weeks for the infection to clear. than theres nothing to worry about after that. i just guess that’s why he wants to wait three weeks.

      going through it for the second time myself…wisdom teeth breaking and getting infected

  8. I have a verticle root fracture in a 40 year old root canal. I plan on having it extracted and replaced with an implant. Just for curiousity sake, what would happen if I just left it alone?

    1. It would eventually become chronically infected and may become acutely painful. Bacteria will travel down the vertical crack from the top of the tooth into the bone. This may happen quickly or it may take some time to develop

      1. Thank you so much for your response. The tooth is scheduled for removal on Aug 30th. Wish me well. We will be doing a bone graph and sinus lift at the same time. I will be actually relieved to have it out. It’s done enough damage already.

  9. the information was very useful. I didn’t know any of this. there’s a tooth which should be extracted but I’ve been suffering from that pain the past few days but it’s still swollen inside. how much time should I wait to extract it?

  10. I have a half back molar which is wobberly and very painful. I cant afford a dentist and want to know if I just keep trying to break it out of my mouth will it be ok? What could I use as a numbing agent….would bonjela be ok? Thankyou

          1. Dental Schools now charge as much as regular dentists– or more. They are no longer a resource for the poor. I have been thru the same nightmare.

            If you live near a dental clinic that takes Medicaid, you can try that for a simple extraction.If you have really messed- up, ground- down teeth and require a surgical extraction, however, you may be out of luck. The other option is to find a sympathetic dentist who works with poor people (increasingly hard to find, however).

            Advocate politically for HealthCare that includes dentistry, vision, etc. Because now, there are no really good answers if you can’t afford it. Get someone else to pay, or get someone to invite you to emigrate abroad, where they have good health care. Pray for us all, and save up money from piggy bank. No other options, at this time..

            PS. Some Medicare Advantage Plans cover routine dentistry (note I said ROUTINE), but they make up the costs in other ways, which may be to your disadvantage. Same with dentistry savings cards.

    1. Hello Melanie,

      Typically multiple teeth are extracted and a single visit using IV sedation. It is far better to have the teeth removed at the same time unless you have some very complex health issue. This will mean you only have one healing period, one anesthesia, one time on antibiotics, etc. etc. Why go through all this twice?

      If you’re considering having a dental implant, consider having a socket preservation bone graft to maintain the bone especially if it is in a critical area.

      Socket Bone Grafting….Do I Need It for My Dental Implant? Ramsey Amin DDS Reviews

      Afraid of Needles and Drills…Sedation Overview with Burbank Dentist Ramsey Amin, DDS

      Very respectfully,

      Ramsey Amin DDS
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry
      Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry
      Burbank, California

  11. i have one tooth gone bad and broken. i am in pain .how can i remove the tooth my self .
    if i done later i have any problem or not

    1. Hi Arun,

      Be careful! You really should have a dentist do this for you. You can easily break the roots off or break your bone along with removing the tooth. If you’re considering a dental implant you may want to consider having a socket bone graft done at the same time the tooth is removed.

      Rationale and Costs –Immediate Same Day Extraction and Back Tooth Molar Implant vs.Waiting

      Ramsey Amin DDS
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry
      Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry
      Burbank, California

  12. I have 3 tooth that have gone bad and broken. I am in pain more times then not. I can not afford a dentist even to extract my teeth that need to be extracted. If my teeth just break will I have no pain I don’t know I’m not a dentist. What did people do in the old days? Just die .

    1. Hello Nelly,

      I am sorry to hear about your situation. An excellent resource would be a local dental school. There are also free clinics in many major cities that can handle basic care such as extractions and pain management.

      Good luck. I wish you the best

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

      1. I have my wisdoms broken in half with holes to the nerve. I’m feeling throbbing pain in both sides of face near my jaw line that led to my ear…..my right ear is loosing it’s hearing… Does that have something to do with my teeth & the bad shape it’s in?

  13. Now I will not have any doubt to pull out a bad tooth when I have one because I know now the other possible bad effect of this bad tooth in my other tooth when I don’t pull it out immediately after I notice it.

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Dr. Ramsey Amin has extensive experience in surgical and restorative implant dentistry. As one of only less than 400 Diplomates of the American Board of Oral Implantology/ Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID) he is considered an expert, and board-certified in dental implants. He is a former instructor at the UCLA School of Dentistry.