Tooth Extraction Alternatives

Your dentist just told you that you need to have one or more teeth pulled. Now you are home, sitting in front of your computer, trying to decide if out if this is really necessary. Having a tooth extracted is a big deal.

Most of the time, it is a good idea to defer to the judgment of your dentist, but you should always strive to be as informed as possible about your treatment plan. As a patient, you are also a critical member of the treatment team. Here are some common reasons why you might need an extraction:

  • Your teeth (and mouth) are crowded
  • Tooth infection
  • Compromised immune system
  • Wisdom teeth removal – this is sometimes unavoidable if the tooth is impacted

The downsides of an extraction

Depending on the number of teeth you need to be removed, your dentist may perform an in-office surgery while you are awake, or they may opt for a more surgical approach if you have many complicated extractions. Most people experience the first option.

Near the beginning of the procedure your dentist will often inject a local anesthetic, which can be initially painful and last hours after the surgery. Once it is complete, you will likely end up with a prescription to prevent infections and probably another for the pain. Many patients take a few weeks to fully recover. This recovery is slow and requires a lot of cleaning and maintenance on your part. Once you have recovered, you now likely face the prospect of expensive orthodontic work to correct the new gap in your teeth.

Most situations that lead to extraction are preventable

According to a July 2017 study by the European Journal of Dentistry "DCS [cavities] along with periodontal disease were the major reasons for extractions. These are largely preventable causes of tooth extraction."

This statement tells us that the most important alternative to tooth extraction is good oral hygiene, or brush and floss daily. However, sometimes this is not enough, and you find yourself in a situation where your dentist is recommending extraction.

What are my alternatives?

  1. Root canal

Root canal, or a "filling", is when the dentist uses a drill to form a canal to the root of your tooth. He then uses tools to clean out the damaged or infected tissue within the canal. This is then filled in with synthetic material. A root canal is often less painful and requires less medication after the procedure. This means you can get back to your normal life without the use of sedating pain medication.

  1. Dental Implant

This is less of an extraction alternative and more of a replacement option. This is an artificial tooth that is inserted into your extraction site to replace your tooth. These often look just like the real thing, but be aware that your tooth would still be pulled in this case. However, you will be avoiding the gap expensive orthodontic work to fill the gap left by an extraction.

  1. Partial Denture

These types of dentures are removable and allow you to keep part of your original tooth. Many people find this to be a cheap and easy alternative. However, they may not be as elegant as an implant or as simple as a root canal.

As you can see, the above options are not much better than having a tooth pulled, though a root canal is the least expensive and least invasive option. Therefore, it is very important to observe strong and regular oral hygiene practices. For more specific questions related to your specific case, give your dentist a call and speak with them directly.

Request an appointment in our Santa Clara office here: https://yousmiledental.com.

Recent Posts

Pros And Cons Of Popular Treatments For Missing Teeth

When it comes to addressing missing teeth, some treatment options are more popular than others. These are the prosthetics that have a proven track record of being an effective way to replace missing teeth.The one option patients should never consider is living with missing teeth. This leads to a range of dental issues, as well…

When Sports Lead To Dental Dilemmas

Dental dilemmas can occur at any time, but playing contact sports tends to increase the odds. Your face and mouth are exposed to trauma that can be the result of contact with another player or tripping and landing on your face.That is why mouthguards are the norm when it comes to sports nowadays — from…

Tooth Decay Stages And Warning Signs

"Oh man, this tooth is killing me!" Oral hygiene is tough primarily because the "bad effects" of not doing so take longer to set in, but when it does set in the distress, pain and anxiety bring a complete unfocused life event. Personal and professional relationships can even suffer because the tooth decay becomes worse…

What Happens With Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay ruins the cementum and hard enamel of teeth, revealing the nerves which lead to sensitive teeth and painful toothaches. A dentist can repair tooth decay so don't delay in scheduling a dental appointment for treatment.Think for a moment about what that means. Yes! Possible cavities or additional treatments.Decay develops when bacteria in the…


Recent Posts

A Santa Clara Dentist Shares   Surprising Facts About Teeth

A Santa Clara Dentist Shares 4 Surprising Facts About Teeth

You can trust our Santa Clara dentist when they say that the teeth are one of the most important parts of the body. Your teeth are responsible for chewing and grinding up your food, keeping your facial structure and giving you a beautiful smile! Most people might know how many teeth they have or how…

Things To Ask The Orthodontist At Your Consultation

5 Things To Ask The Orthodontist At Your Consultation

A visit with an orthodontist can be intimidating because you are likely there to be evaluated for braces, aligners or another appliance. Even though these will correct your teeth or repair your bite, they are still unnerving for some people. That said, these consultations are excellent ways to learn more about the treatment you need.Your…