Dental pain is a complicated issue to navigate without professional help. When you experience a slight toothache or a toothache that seems to come and go, you may feel confused as to when you should seek treatment. In fact, many patients choose to postpone dental care until the problem becomes too much to manage on their own.
When a tooth hurts a little bit, or when it is obviously decayed or broken, it may not be enough of a bother to prompt a dental visit. However, waiting too late to address your dental problem could result in an unwanted tooth extraction – and even worse, bone loss due to infection. Unfortunately, even when a tooth is not throbbing with pain, it could be deteriorating and quickly demineralize the surrounding bone. As the clock ticks, your chances for saving that tooth may also be deteriorating.
With few or no chances for saving your natural tooth, you may be faced with the decision of replacing it. During your discussion with your oral surgeon about having the tooth extracted, you will also have the opportunity to explore your options for replacing it. It’s the perfect opportunity to discuss dental implants.
Since your oral surgeon should be the specialist who extracts your tooth and also places your dental implant, you can receive a thorough and professional opinion as to whether an implant will work for you. Your surgeon can evaluate the bone that surrounds your extracted tooth, ensuring that it is strong enough to anchor an implant.
Also, your desire for an implant can influence the manner in which your natural tooth is extracted. In most cases, the bone of the residual ridge can be preserved with a bone graft at the time of extraction during the surgical procedure. When the extracted tooth must be replaced immediately (for example, a front tooth) your surgeon may choose to place the implant during the extraction procedure, along with a bone graft.
A tooth that is not bothering you today can become a nightmare as time takes its toll. When your last resort is a tooth extraction, remember to ask about your tooth replacement options and ridge preservation options. For more information, contact the office of Dr. Steven Koos DDS, MD for your appointment today.