What is an extraction?

Tooth extractions are the treatment that removes a tooth or teeth from the mouth for any number of reasons. Often, a tooth will become infected after the bacteria in a cavity reaches the nerve. This can cause pain and swelling. When an infection like this occurs, there are two main options in addressing the infection. The tooth can be saved, assuming sufficient healthy natural tooth structure remains, with Root Canal Treatment, or the tooth will need to be extracted. An infection in the teeth can cause severe pain and has been linked to many other serious health concerns such as cardiovascular disease.

When do I need an extraction?

There are three main reasons why an extraction is necessary.

  1. Severe Damage: A tooth that has been significantly compromised by decay, tooth fracture, or infection
  2. Orthodontics: Primary and permanent teeth may need to be removed to allow for proper alignment of remaining teeth
  3. Preventative: Wisdom teeth are often removed to prevent damage to the bone and adjacent teeth

Dr Bender and Dr Lewis will discuss all options and help you determine the best course of treatment for your circumstances.

How do I replace my missing tooth/teeth?

While leaving a space in your mouth is an option, there are downsides to doing nothing following an extraction. Aside from the social consequences of diminished chewing and altered speech, negative physiological changes also occur in the area. As an empty tooth socket begins to heal, there is less blood supply and fewer building blocks to allow the bone to heal perfectly. Bone loss occurs and with time teeth begin to shift to fill the space.

If you do plan to replace the missing tooth/teeth, Bone Grafting is usually indicated. Upon removal of the tooth/teeth, sterile bone granules are placed in the socket and a protective membrane is placed over the top to secure them. The gum tissue is then sutured and allowed to heal. This sets the stage for the replacement options.

Single Tooth Replacement

Dental Implant

Pros

  • Perform and appear most similarly to a natural tooth
  • With proper care, can last for decades
  • Adjacent teeth are unaffected by implant treatment
  • Help perserve bone in the area

Cons

  • Require surgery
  • Treatment time from start to finish takes a number of months
  • Cost is higher than other options

Dental Bridge

Pros

  • Look, feel, and function like a natural tooth
  • Treatment is completed within a few weeks
  • Is a permanently cemented solution

Cons

  • Adjacent teeth determine the success of the bridge
  • Extra care is needed to maintain the health of the bridge
  • Some degree of bone loss will typically occur under the bridge

Multiple Tooth Replacement

Implant Bridge

Pros

  • All of the benefits of single implants
  • Able to support the force of multiple missing teeth on fewer implants

Cons

  • All of the downsides of single implants
  • Creating naturally shaped gum tissue becomes more challenging

Implant-Supported Overdenture

Pros

  • Few Implants support a full arch of teeth
  • Combines excellent stability with with removability for easy cleaning

Cons

  • Cost for replacing all teeth higher
  • Treatment process takes longer

Complete/Partial Denture

Pros

  • More affordable
  • Replace all or multiple teeth
  • Shorter treatment process

Cons

  • Less denture stability, especially for lower teeth
  • Diminished chewing and speaking function