What Are the Best Options For Replacing Extracted Teeth?
As nearly any experienced dentist will attest, one of the most important parts of the profession is stabilizing a patient’s oral health and conserving the structure of the teeth and gums when possible. However, while keeping your natural teeth intact is important, it may not always be the best thing for your health.
Although unfortunate, explains Marc Melnick DDS of Hoboken, New Jersey, tooth extraction is sometimes a necessary part of dentistry. There are usually two reasons why a dentist would deem the removal of a tooth necessary, he says. The first instance is when a tooth is broken down beyond repair because of decay or fracture. If you cannot fix and save a tooth, explains Dr. Melnick, an experienced Hoboken dentist, it is always a safer alternative to extract it, because it could become a source of infection.
The more common reason behind tooth extraction is due to periodontal disease that has caused the gums to recede and bone to shrink away. When your gums and jaw bone become infected, there is no longer support for the teeth, and as a result, they may shift around. Once teeth become too loose and the bone cannot be restored in time, removing the affected teeth may become the healthiest option. Aside from fractures that occur as a result of unforeseen trauma though, most causes of tooth extraction can actually be prevented through professional monitoring.
If your dentist does advise you to move forward with extraction, it does not signify the end of your smile. In fact, as Dr. Melnick explains, there are numerous treatments and appliances available to restore the health and look of your mouth. There really is no definite right or wrong resolution, he says, because each situation is dependent upon the patient’s health, how many teeth have been extracted, and personal desires. For instance, if only a few teeth are present in random spots throughout the mouth or if there are no teeth at all, dentures may be necessary. For other patients, bridge work, implants, and partial dentures offer alternatives.
Dr. Melnick makes it very clear to his patients that he and his staff will never force a particular treatment plan. While there will be plenty of discussion regarding the solutions available and your dentist’s recommendations, the decision should ultimately be your own. For example, he explains, there are some people who are completely comfortable with the idea of dentures, while others will do nearly anything to avoid them. In the end, this is your mouth, and you need to be satisfied with the results.
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.