Are you considering taking out a tooth?
A tooth may be taken out (extracted) for a number of reasons, such as an infection, a split or a crack, large cavity, mobility due to gum disease, or being severely broken after an accident. When considering an extraction there are many points to consider:
- Losing a tooth may make it more difficult to chew, especially if other teeth are missing
- It may look aesthetically unpleasant, especially if it is clearly visible in your smile
- Teeth are like books on a shelf – if one is taken out the rest will fall, move and tilt. This may produce more problems, such as gum disease, cavities due to difficult cleaning and loose teeth
- Other teeth will be under more stress, thus more likely to crack and suffer over time
So what are your options? To extract or to save the tooth?
- In some cases a tooth can (and has to) be taken out with little consequence and without a need for replacement (e.g. a wisdom tooth)
- If possible to save, the dentist may give you options of fillings/crowns/root canal treatment to get rid of any infection and restore the tooth again. In many cases to the surprise of our patients this is possible, and costs less than replacing a missing tooth later on
- Once extracted, to replace it with a ‘fake’ tooth that will fill the gap to look natural, stop the adjacent teeth from moving, and provide you with proper chewing power.
How can a missing tooth be replaced?
- Implants – this is basically a fake stand-alone tooth that is inserted into your jaw, and is made up of a titanium ‘screw’ that acts as the root and a white porcelain crown which looks and feels similar to a natural tooth. Implants are not attached to your other teeth, are strong and durable
- Bridges – this is a fake porcelain tooth that is attached to the adjacent healthy teeth with white caps (crowns). In order to make these, adjacent teeth have to be trimmed and covered fully with a crown. These are permanently cemented or glued into place, and rely on each other for support, thus adjacent teeth have to be strong and healthy.
- Denture – this is a removable plate, which can be made of either metal or plastic base and hooks, which attach to adjacent teeth to hold the denture in place. Plastic ‘pink gum’ and white teeth are attached to it. Dentures can take a while to get used to, as they may move around a little during eating and may feel bulky in the mouth. Quite often these are considered as a temporary tooth replacement until something more permanent like an implant or a bridge can be done.
So where from here?
We are always happy to schedule a proper assessment and consultation with regards to any problem teeth. At this point we will go over all your options, costs involved, and timeframes for any treatment. This will always ensure that you will make an informed decision, and be comfortable with treatment option chosen!