Do you remember having a tooth pulled when you were young? If so, you may remember that a certain amount of brute force was required, and the technique was relatively straightforward. These days, dentists have various different tools and a number of techniques, and the procedure itself is as painless as it can be. However, the dentist will always be thinking about the future when they recommend that you get an extraction, and you need to be aware of your options, so you can make a timely decision. Why is this important?
Keeping Those Teeth
There is a reason why you have an exact number of teeth, and this is to provide support, as well as to make it easier for you to masticate your food. However, sometimes one of these teeth may deteriorate and will need to be removed in order to safeguard everything else. In an ideal world, you will always want to replace that tooth, as a "gap" will have repercussions elsewhere.
Whenever a tooth is removed in a straightforward extraction, the bone that surrounds it will begin a slow but steady process of modification. This is known as "resorption" and involves shrinkage and redirection. When the bone that was beneath the tooth acts in this way, it can affect the surrounding structure and, consequently, the adjacent teeth. Over time, these teeth can start to move in a different direction and may lean inwards towards the area that was occupied by the absent tooth.
You should discuss the future with your dentist as soon as they recommend an extraction. For example, you may decide to have a post inserted, which will receive an implant with crown. Alternatively, you may be able to create a bridge that may look the same when all is said and done but will not involve an implant.
If the dentist has this type of procedure in mind, he or she will be able to carefully protect the area during extraction and will be able to prepare for the secondary procedure down the road.
Turning Back the Clock
Nevertheless, your dentist may also be able to introduce an implant some time after the original extraction, although they may have to add a specialised bone graft to provide additional support accordingly.
Worth the Effort
Remember, begin with the end in mind and look at any extraction as part of a longer procedure. This will help you to maintain a full complement of teeth as you grow older, with maximum utility. For more information, contact your dentist.