If you want to convince yourself about leaving it whole, just take a whole head of garlic, cut the top off exposing the cloves, make a foil pouch, place the head (cut side up) in the center of the pouch, drizzle with olive oil, a sprinkle of koshar salt, seal the pouch and roast/bake in the oven @ 450 F for about an hour. Let cool. Now you can squeeze the head and the garlic will ooze out like a paste. Good on toasted bread or you can make a roasted garlic cream sauce for pasta!
Many other uses for it as well.