Tooth/teeth extractions may be needed for a number of reasons:
- Severe decay or cavities
- Advanced periodontal disease
- Broken (cracked) in a way that cannot be repaired
- Poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth)
- Preparation for orthodontic (braces) treatment
Having a tooth or multiple teeth removed and not replaced can have a negative impact on your dental health, with problems such as bone loss, shifting or drifting of teeth, the inability to chew and trouble with jaw joints occurring.
To avoid these potential problems, you have several choices for replacing the newly missing tooth or teeth. All of the options rely on bone support and bone contour for the best function and esthetics. Here is a list of the possible options:
- Dental implants: These are root-shaped supports that simulate your natural root and hold your replacement tooth or teeth. The more bone support you have, the stronger the implant replacements will be. In some cases, the bone can degenerate to a point where implants can no longer be placed without having more complex bone grafting procedures to create the necessary support. Preventing bone loss is much easier than recreating the bone later, so in order to prevent further bone loss, site preservation (bone grafting) may be necessary.
- Fixed bridge: This is a restoration that is supported by the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth space. The replacement tooth (or pontic) spans across the space. If the bone is deficient, there will be an unsightly space under the pontic that will trap food and affect your speech. In order to prevent or minimize bone deficiency and other future problems, site preservation (bone grafting) may be necessary.
- Other replacement alternatives: These include removable partial dentures (flippers) or full dentures. Dentures often perform better with more supporting bone, as there is added support against dislodgement. In order to provide an adequate amount of supporting bone, site preservation (bone grafting) may be necessary.
At the time of your extraction, the doctor will use a local anesthetic to numb your tooth, jawbone and gums that surround the area. During the extraction process you will feel a lot of pressure, but there should be no pain. Additional anesthetic may be given during the procedure to maintain your comfort. Post-operative instructions will be reviewed with you both verbally and in writing. Analgesic medication prescriptions will be provided by Dr. Seibert or Dr. Suleiman-Ata and antibiotic prescriptions may be provided if necessary.