It may seem strange to think about removing a tooth as a restorative procedure yet, if Dr. Lathrop recommends an extraction, it’s because removal of the tooth will help restore a healthy balance to your mouth. Although extractions are often associated with advanced tooth decay, Dr. Lathrop may recommend them in other situations, including:
Tooth extractions are most often classified as simple or surgical. The procedure begins with an examination using a 3D x-ray unit. This allows Dr. Lathrop to decide if the tooth needs extraction and decide the best method of extraction. In the case of a simple extraction, Dr. Lathrop will numb the area and use special tools to first loosen the tooth and then extract it. Surgical extractions are more complex and time-intensive, and will require the use of dental sedation, such as oral sedation or IV sedation, in conjunction with local anesthesia. After the procedure, you will probably experience some soreness and even swelling, although these symptoms should subside in a few days. Regardless of which type of extraction you undergo, you must follow Dr. Lathrop’s post-operative instructions to the letter to ensure proper healing of the extraction site. Activities such as smoking, heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, drinking through straws, consuming foods and beverages that are spicy, acidic, hot, or very cold are discouraged.
Wisdom teeth and teeth removed in advance of orthodontic therapy are the only types of extracted teeth that will not require replacement. In all other cases, you will need to discuss your options with Dr. Lathrop. Missing permanent teeth can lead to a host of serious oral health problems, including misalignment, soft tissue damage, TMJ disorder, and an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Our preferred method of replacing a missing tooth is a single crown dental implant. Anchored within the jawbone via a titanium post, a dental implant crown provides a natural-looking and natural-feeling dental prosthetic. Of course, dental implants are not the right solution for every patient and in these cases, a dental bridge can replace the missing tooth and help maintain proper spacing of the remaining teeth.