When should you consider tooth extraction? Your Saginaw, MI dentist, Gregory S. Herzler DDS, guides his patients through this difficult decision with an oral examination and x-ray visualization of the tooth. Of course, he agrees with the American Academy of Implant Dentistry which maintains that a natural tooth is better than any replacement option - even the dental implant.
Reasons to Remove a Tooth
Unfortunately, some teeth are beyond saving. Abscess, gum disease, and decay may damage a tooth enough that it warrants extraction.
Dentists also extract teeth when they impede the alignment or health of other teeth. Orthodontic patients undergo tooth extraction when their teeth are too big for their jaws. Crowded and overlapped teeth cause significant bite problems, impacting how a smile appears and how healthy it will be in the future.
For instance, an orthodontist may recommend extracting the premolars at the front of the mouth to allow the canines to position correctly. Dentists take out baby teeth, too, when they impede eruption of adult teeth.
Many people have their wisdom teeth removed, enough that you may be more surprised to talk to someone who never had to go through the procedure! They can become impacted, or not fully erupted, and surrounded by bone, tooth roots and soft tissue. They may become infected and push on healthy neighbors, causing pain and misalignment issues. Many individuals require wisdom teeth extraction in their teens or early adulthood.
Unfortunately, accident or injury necessitates extraction if the enamel and soft inner pulp are compromised beyond repair. While crowns, fillings, bonding and porcelain veneers strengthen injured teeth and preserve aesthetics, these procedures can't work in all situations, and extraction is sometimes the only option.
Extraction is Straightforward
Dr. Herzler extracts teeth using local anesthesia. He ensures that the patient is comfortable before, during and after the procedure. Once the tooth is out, the patient bites on gauze for 20 to 30 minutes to slow bleeding. He or she takes ibuprofen or acetaminophen afterwards to control discomfort and possibly an antibiotic for infection. Some patients receive bone grafting material in the empty socket to preserve the jaw bone and prepare the site for a dental implant.
Consequences of Tooth Loss
Unfortunately, some teeth are beyond saving. Abscess, gum disease, and decay may damage a tooth enough that it warrants extraction. Removing a permanent tooth that has decayed or been damaged without replacing it can result in:
- jawbone recession
- shifting of neighboring teeth, creating spacing issues and weakening tooth structure
- sagging of facial muscles and problems with speech and eating when multiple teeth are lost
When considering an extraction, your Saginaw dentist will discuss replacement options. While the dental implant is the gold standard for tooth replacement, traditional restorations such as fixed bridgework and partial and full dentures can also bring back your smile.
Talk to Dr. Herzler
Gregory S. Herzler and his staff want you to keep your healthy smile for a lifetime. When considering extraction, seek the counsel of this professional team for the right evaluation and advice. Call their Saginaw area office for an appointment: (989) 793-7733.