In times past, it was common for patients with severe decay and damage to their teeth to opt for a tooth extraction because it seemed to be the simplest and most cost-effective solution. The problems that can arise from having a missing tooth far outweigh the benefits of the extraction, though. Read on to learn why receiving restorative care is a much better option for your oral health.
What’s the Problem with an Extraction?
Your teeth are designed to function in a symbiotic environment where each one has separate duties that affect the health of all of them. Therefore, when one of the teeth is extracted, it creates a void that can cause the others to shift.
That’s because all your teeth rely on a healthy degree of tension to maintain their position. When it’s missing, they shift in search of finding the lost pressure, which can lead to two big problems:
- Problem #1 – Tipping: The teeth are held in place by both vertical and horizontal pressure. When the latter is missing, the surrounding teeth can start to lean in the direction of the vacated space.
- Problem #2 – Super Eruption: When the vertical tension is gone, the tooth can also begin to extend from the gum tissue and create malocclusion (poor bite). Additionally, the movement can leave you more susceptible to gum infection.
Dental Implants – A Remedy for a Missing Tooth
If it’s a situation where you absolutely must have a tooth extracted, then the best option for replacement is a dental implant, which is a titanium post that is surgically inserted into your jawbone and acts as the new root for your tooth.
Why Saving a Tooth is the Better Option
It’s better to keep your natural tooth structure in place, but many times, this depends on your sense of urgency when you notice dental health issues on the forefront. One of the main contributors to tooth loss is unaddressed tooth decay, which can lead to gum disease.
One of the ways to combat this trend is to be more proactive by reaching out to your local dentist to receive the care you need in a timelier fashion. Thus, instead of having to settle for a tooth extraction that could lead to future challenges, you can have a procedure like a root canal performed.
What is a Root Canal?
Also called a pulpectomy, root canal therapy is designed to address decay that has reached the inner, more sensitive area of the tooth. The following shows how the treatment process works:
- X-Rays – The first step your dentist will take is to capture X-Ray images to determine where the decay is located.
- Anesthesia – Next, local anesthesia will be applied to numb the area where the work will be done.
- Pulpectomy – Then the specialist will make an incision into the tooth to remove the decayed tissue. He or she will then clean the area thoroughly.
- Filling – Finally, the space is filled with a special compound called gutta percha. The tooth is then sealed with dental cement.
- Temporary Crown Placement – When the procedure is done, your dentist will place a temporary dental crown (the part of the tooth above the gumline) in place to protect the tooth.
- Permanent Crown Placement – Bite impressions are sent to a trusted lab that will fabricate your permanent tooth-colored porcelain crown. When the final restoration is ready, you’ll head back to your dentist’s office to be fitted, and you’ll leave fully restored!
By taking a more proactive approach, you don’t have to settle for the problems that can arise from having missing teeth. Instead, you can maintain the tooth you already have by having restorative work done. To be fully restored, contact your local dentist to schedule a visit today.
About the Author
Dr. Anthony Bailey has been providing the best in dental care to the Bedford area for nearly 40 years. Still, the Medical College of Virginia School of Dentistry graduate remains an active learner, which allows him to provide a wide range of services. Dr. Bailey restores teeth at Peaks View Dental, and he can be reached for more information through his website.