Contrary to popular nightmares, dentists don’t like to pull teeth. In fact, your Colorado Springs dentist will make every effort to save your tooth before recommending an extraction. If you are dealing with a damaged, infected, or painful tooth, pulling it may seem like easiest way to fix the problem at first. However, there are major downsides that you may not have thought about, as well as alternative options you may not have considered. Read on to find out more about protecting your healthy, natural smile.
The Noticeable Downsides of Pulling a Tooth
Don’t rush into a tooth extraction just because your tooth is causing you pain. You should first consider the downsides, like:
- It’s expensive to replace teeth: You’ll need a dental implant or bridge to fill that gap in your smile, which requires a large upfront cost or regular replacement respectively.
- Eating and speaking may become difficult: Missing even just one tooth can have a severe impact on clear annunciation and ability to chew properly.
- Your mouth will change in response: As soon as a tooth goes missing, the jawbone begins to deteriorate, and the gum tissue will likely begin to recede.
- Risk of oral health issues increases: Unless you have a dental implant firmly in place, the vacant area in your smile will collect bacteria and increase your risk of cavities, gum disease, and more.
- Your facial features will change: As the jawbone shrinks, the facial bones it supported will begin to shift. This causes a sunken, aged look in your facial features.
Saving Tooth Structure with Extraction Alternatives
Thankfully, there are a few treatments that can save your tooth from extraction. If your tooth is broken or weakened, a dental crown can repair the damage and keep your tooth in place. This beautifully crafted tooth-shaped cap fits snuggly over the top of a tooth, which holds all the pieces together and protects them from injury and bacteria under a strong, durable shell.
If your tooth is infected, a root canal can clear out the issue while preserving as much natural tooth structure as possible. Thanks to modern technology and techniques, this treatment is more comfortable and reliable than ever. Your dentist can skillfully remove any damaged or decayed tissue, sanitize your hollowed tooth, and fill it up with a warm, rubbery material called guta percha.
When Is Tooth Extraction the Best Choice?
There are situations where a tooth extraction is the best option available, including:
- Wisdom teeth: The most commonly extracted teeth are wisdom teeth, which are vestigial molars that can become impacted in the jaw or push against nearby teeth as they develop.
- Severe dental infection: In some cases, a root canal can’t completely eliminate the bacteria infecting a tooth. In these cases, the tooth needs to be extracted before the dangerous bacteria can spread to your other teeth or throughout your body.
- Advanced gum disease: A bacterial infection in the gum tissue known as gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in the US, since it destroys the connective tissues that hold teeth in place.
Before extracting your tooth, consider your options for saving your smile!
About the Practice
Dr. Kenneth Gasper of Aesthetic Dentistry by Design in Colorado Springs, CO has more than three decades of experience in dentistry. As an active member in several organizations including the American Dental Association, he has taken additional training in a wide variety of subjects and specialties. This allows him to offer advanced treatments like CEREC same-day crowns, dental implants, and comfortable root canals. To learn more about your options for treating your tooth, please reach him via his website or at (719) 599-0700.