For centuries, dentistry and tooth extraction were almost synonymous. Beyond a sturdy pair of pliers, dentists of earlier eras didn’t have many tools to treat the infection and pain of a cavity. Dental science has come a long way, rendering tooth extraction not only easier than ever — but also much rarer.
Today, there are myriad ways to save a tooth. Crowns and root canals can treat severe cases of decay, preserving the tooth and its root, the anchor that is so essential to maintaining the proper alignment of your teeth and the structural integrity of your jaw.
Tooth extraction is typically performed in extreme cases of trauma or neglect. If a tooth has begun to loosen in its socket as a result of periodontal disease, it may require extraction. A sports injury or other impact may severely damage a tooth, causing it to become unstable and unmoored.
Sometimes tooth extraction is not the unfortunate ending of tale of trauma or neglect, but a hopeful beginning. Extractions are often performed at the beginning of orthodontic treatment, to ensure remaining teeth have sufficient space to align properly in the mouth. Some orthodontic patients are born with large teeth, small mouths or both; in these cases, only extraction will make an orderly arrangement possible.
When necessary, extractions at Inspire Dentistry of the Carolinas are simple, routine and pain-free. You will receive the same type of local anesthetic that is given for filling a cavity, shielding you from any discomfort as Dr. Añonuevo loosens the tooth in its socket and removes it.
In unusual cases, as when the root is deep or curved, “sectioning” of the tooth may be necessary. This involves removing a tooth in pieces, rather than extracting the whole tooth with the rocking motion applied in most instances.
The healing process occurs over the next several weeks, as bone gradually fills in the socket. This is a good time to decide how you want your dentist to fill the gap that has been created in your mouth. Living with a missing tooth is not a prudent option, as a permanent space will likely cause adjacent teeth to drift, potentially affecting your bite and even the way you speak and chew.
The most serious consequence is loss of volume in the jaw. This happens when there is no longer a root to stimulate the bone, leading to attenuation and atrophy. At some point you may notice a change in your facial profile, as the bone contracts and the jaw begins to take on a weaker appearance. Effective ways to prevent this outcome include dental implants and orthodontic treatment. Preventing drifting can also be accomplished through bridges or dentures. Dr. Añonuevo will guide you through the process of choosing the option that is right for you.
If you would like to discuss your specific dental needs with a respected, trustworthy dentist in Charlotte, we invite you to book a consultation with Dr. Añonuevo. Please call or email Inspire Dentistry of the Carolinas today to make your appointment.