Decaying teeth are painful and can become a danger to your overall health. However, some patients put off the procedure for as long as possible. It is very common to fear going to the dentist. In fact, a third of U.S. patients avoid dental appointments because of anxiety and fear. Barron Family Dental uses many modern techniques to make tooth extraction and implant placement a simple and fearless process.
Preserving your natural teeth is an important priority. There are many dental techniques to help repair damaged teeth which are used whenever possible. However, sometimes an extraction is necessary. If a tooth is damaged beyond repair or endangering other healthy teeth, you will likely need an extraction and implant replacement.
How to Know if You Need an Extraction
Overcrowding, poor dental care, and trauma to teeth can all result in damage that will eventually require a tooth extraction. Often, when these conditions begin, they are hard to see and completely painless. Knowing the symptoms of tooth damage will help you understand if you need an extraction. There are five main reasons you might require a tooth extraction.
- Severe decay – Mild to moderate tooth decay is usually repaired with a filling or crown. When the decay becomes too severe for repair, extraction is necessary. It’s important to visit your dentist if you suspect you have any tooth decay.
- Crowded teeth – If your teeth are overcrowded, orthodontic care to straighten them may be impossible. Sometimes, teeth are extracted to prepare for orthodontic care.
- Infection – Sometimes, infected teeth can be repaired with a root canal and antibiotics. However, if the infection is serious or puts your general health in danger, extraction will be required. Infection within tooth roots can spread into the bloodstream if left untreated.
- Impacted teeth – Some teeth become impacted and are unable to erupt through the gum line. This can happen if there is not enough space for the tooth to grow fully. The condition is especially common in wisdom teeth.
- Gum disease – Periodontal or gum disease can make the gum tissue too weak to hold teeth in place. Gum disease can eventually weaken the jawbone and make saving these loose teeth impossible.
From Extraction to Implant
The complete process of tooth extraction and replacement may take a few visits to your dentist. However, modern techniques in dentistry can make the extraction process quick and painless. Learning about the process can help prepare you for your appointment.
- Your appointment will begin with a review of X-rays and medical history for a confirmation that the tooth will need extraction.
- Local anesthetic (and nitrous oxide when necessary) will be administered to help make the procedure comfortable and painless.
- Your dentist will remove the tooth, pack the site with bone grafting material, and place sutures in the gum to close the wound.
- Before going home, you will receive care instructions to help keep the area clean and speed healing.
After your mouth heals from the extraction you will need to consider tooth replacement options. The most common replacements include implants, fixed bridges with crowns, and dentures. Dental implants and fixed bridges are usually the most popular choices for patients with healthy gums. Both of these options stay fixed in the mouth at all times. Tooth replacement may take multiple visits to your dentist. At Baron Family Dental, we use same day crowns to help speed the process.
Dental Implant Placement
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root which bonds to the jawbone. Your dentist will surgically place your implant into the jawbone to replace the root of your missing tooth. This implant will be covered with a crown that matches your healthy teeth. As your implant heals, it will naturally fuse to the jawbone to act as a natural tooth.
Fixed Bridge Placement
A fixed bridge is a tooth replacement that attaches to surrounding healthy teeth to allow placement of a crown. Your dentist will prepare the teeth surrounding the gap, then take an impression of your teeth to create the bridge. You will wear a temporary bridge to protect your teeth until your permanent bridge is ready. Your finished bridge will be adjusted, fitted, and cemented in place for a permanent replacement.
Dental Implant Care
Caring for your new implant is much like caring for your natural teeth. Specific techniques for care depends on the type of implant you’ve chosen. Dental implants function like natural teeth after healing. Bridges may require extra flossing in the space beneath the tooth replacement. Remember to brush and floss daily and visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist will provide any necessary special care instructions after your replacement is in place.
If you think you need a tooth extraction, stop putting off a trip to the dentist. At Barron Family Dental, we strive to provide personalized, comfortable service that will eliminate your fears of visiting the dentist. Contact Barron Family Dental for a consultation, and get back your happy healthy smile.