It may seem that when you are getting recommendations for how to treat a toothache, your dentist is recommending every type of treatment except a tooth extraction. Why is that?
Let’s take a look at why tooth extractions are often saved as a last resort when trying to treat cavities, tooth decay, and toothaches.
Why Other Treatments are Recommended Before Tooth Extractions
There are a number of reasons why your dentist wants to try to preserve your natural tooth. Those reasons include:
- Speech difficulties – Removing a tooth can alter the way you speak, making it difficult for people to understand you.
- Difficulties eating and chewing food – A missing tooth can cause you to experience problems eating certain types of foods. If you don’t experience food restrictions, you may still experience problems with digestion, as the food is not properly chewed up and your body has difficulties breaking the food down.
- Super-eruption – Teeth will often try to shift and fill in a gap caused by a missing tooth. A super-eruption occurs when there is no tooth above or below another tooth. That tooth will shift to fill in the gap. That shifting results in the tooth pushing through the gums, which can cause problems with your bite.
- Tipping or tooth shifting – Your teeth will start to naturally shift their position if there is a gap created by a missing tooth. This can cause teeth to appear tipped, overlap each other, or slant so they appear crooked.
- Bone loss – A tooth’s root provides stability and support to your jaw bone. If a tooth is removed and not replaced, the bone in the jaw will start to slowly deteriorate, resulting in irreversible bone loss.
What Treatment Options are Recommended Instead of a Tooth Extraction?
The most common dental treatment a dentist will recommend instead of a tooth extraction is a root canal. This treatment recommendation is given because most people are seeing a dentist for a severe toothache. If the toothache has gotten to the point of being so severe it is causing extreme pain, it is probably infected and a root canal will restore the tooth and treat the toothache.
A root canal allows your dentist to gain access to the infected or decayed tissue within the tooth’s roots. Once access is gained to the infected tissue, your dentist can carefully remove it, disinfect the area, and then fill the hole that was left behind with a sealant. The root canal not only removes the diseased tissue, but it restores the strength of the tooth.
When is a Tooth Extraction Considered Necessary?
Sometimes, even if a dentist wants to try and save the tooth, the best option is tooth extraction. Some situations that make tooth extraction necessary include:
- Infection of the tooth has spread to the bone
- Too much decay results in the tooth becoming too unstable to support a filling or crown
- A tooth is too damaged from an accident or injury that there is no other treatment option
If tooth extraction is recommended, you can avoid experiencing problems by undergoing dental treatment to fill the gap caused by the missing tooth. Treatment options that are commonly used to replace missing teeth include bridges, dental implants, and dentures.
Explore Treatment Options with Your Dentist
At Hancock Village Dental, our goal is to help you preserve as much of your natural teeth as possible. When you visit us with a toothache or other dental problem, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of all treatment options.
Once you are given the list of treatment recommendations, we want you to make a well-informed decision about what treatment to undergo. To help you make a well-informed decision, we will discuss the pros and cons of each treatment option and answer any questions you may have about the treatment options.
Thinking about getting a tooth extracted but want to see what options are available to you? Call Hancock Village Dental today to schedule an appointment for a routine examination where you can discuss treatment options.