Wondering why a dental fillings is also known as a direct dental restoration? There are both direct and indirect restoration options available, with each option addressing a particular dental problem. Examples of indirect options include dental crowns, dental bridges, dental veneers and dental implants, as these types of restorations are constructed outside of the mouth.…
Tooth Extraction Versus Other Treatment Options
Tooth extraction is a major decision and not the most exciting news to hear. If the dentist has recommended the procedure, you would probably feel a bit worried because the news you have read about the procedure is not encouraging. While you should always trust your dentist’s judgment, it is advisable to be informed adequately about the procedure and other treatment options that might help you avert losing your natural tooth.
Why a tooth extraction might be necessary
The following are common reasons why the dentist might recommend an extraction:
- Crowded teeth
- Tooth infection
- Wisdom teeth removal (unavoidable, in case of impaction)
- Compromised immune system
The process of tooth extraction
The dentist’s choice of sedation or anesthesia depends on how many teeth need to be extracted. Local anesthesia is usually used for simple extractions while full sedation may be used for more complicated extractions.
Before starting the procedure, the dentist will wait for the local anesthesia to kick in. After removing the tooth, they may recommend antibiotics for infection and pain meds to alleviate discomfort. It may take a couple of weeks to recover fully. Recovery is slow and demands constant cleaning and maintenance. After recovery, the patient will need to discuss orthodontic or tooth replacement options to deal with the gap.
Sometimes, factors that lead to extraction are avoidable
According to a study published by the European Journal of Dentistry, cavities and periodontal disease were the leading causes for tooth extractions. They are mostly preventable. This means that the most effective alternative to tooth extraction is good oral hygiene – brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkup. However, they are not always adequate and patients may end up having a tooth removed.
What are the alternative treatment options?
Root canal: This is a treatment where the dentist accesses the insides of the tooth to remove damaged or infected pulp tissue. The tooth will then be filled with a synthetic material called gutta-percha. The procedure is usually less painful and requires fewer medications. This means patients can quickly return to their usual routine without painkillers.
Endodontic surgery: Oral surgeries such as apicoectomy or root-end resection can prevent further spread of infection and inflammation in the mouth. It may be conducted after a root canal. The procedure is done under local anesthesia, during which the dentist will remove the infected area and close it up. The surgery has minimal risk and the healing process is fast.
Periodontal disease treatment: Gum infection may cause tooth loss. Patients with developing gum disease can consider treatment for the condition before it becomes irreversible. In cases of early periodontal disease, patients can stop it from worsening by taking corrective measures such as reducing sugar intake and maintaining a stricter oral hygiene routine.’
Remember that although there are alternative treatment options to tooth extraction, it may be hard to avoid tooth removal. Only a dentist will be able to determine the best option for you after examining your situation. Whatever the final decision is, you can be sure of better oral health in the end.
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