A tooth that is damaged by injury or decay can present health risks that reach beyond that one tooth. For example, the damage may expose the tooth’s inner core to bacteria, which may then access the bloodstream and travel elsewhere in the body. Similarly, if extensive tooth decay reaches the bone, it may be compromised, potentially threatening the stability of surrounding teeth.
Therefore, patients should not delay having a damaged tooth removed if it’s been determined that the tooth cannot be saved. An oral surgeon or dentist can evaluate your case and recommend the most appropriate approach.
In addition to planning for the tooth’s extraction, most patients will already be thinking ahead about how to replace that absent tooth. An oral surgeon can provide guidance on this process, too.
An increasing number of patients are turning to dental implants for tooth replacement. These are small titanium cylinders that are biocompatible, allowing the surrounding bone to fuse with the surface of the implant. That process of osseointegration makes the implant a permanent structure in the mouth, allowing it to function similarly to a biological tooth’s root. [pullquote]An increasing number of patients are turning to dental implants for tooth replacement.[/pullquote]
Dental implants have a number of benefits for patients. They help to stabilize the jaw by preventing its erosion in the same way a root does. They’re relatively easy to maintain, and they are also more efficient at chewing than some tooth replacement alternatives.
If you do want to pursue dental implants, this presents another compelling reason for a prompt tooth extraction. Decay that spreads to the bone can create a significant obstacle to dental implant placement if there is not enough remaining quality bone material to support osseointegration.
Patients should have significantly damaged teeth evaluated as soon as possible to determine if extraction is recommended. Move forward with extraction in a timely fashion so that you can then move into the tooth replacement phase. Call our office to schedule an appointment to have a damaged tooth evaluated or to learn about dental implants.