One of the most common questions for dentists in Conroe and The Woodlands to hear is “Can I just get all of my teeth pulled and replaced with dentures or implants?”
People who have been plagued by dental problems all their adult life often become frustrated when it comes to getting their smile back on track. All too often it seems like the best and most logical response is to have their teeth extracted and then replace them with something else. Like having a blank slate to start all over.
Although tooth extractions in The Woodlands are frequently recommended for certain circumstances, removing or pulling a tooth isn’t always considered the standard of care. In the best-case scenario, experts like Dr. Saunders want to help you preserve your natural tooth. Although treatments like dental implants are the next best thing to having a natural smile, the recommended protocol is to retain natural teeth when at all possible.
When Should I Have a Tooth Pulled?
Sometimes preserving anatomical teeth is not ideal. For instance, you might have extremely aggressive periodontal disease in that location, with excessive tooth mobility due to no structural support. If augmentation and soft tissue therapy are not appropriate, therapeutic tooth extraction may be best to halt the spread of the disease.
Or perhaps you have a tooth with extensive structural damage. Maybe there is advanced decay extending into the root of the tooth, leaving little tooth structure left to restore or nothing to attach a crown onto. If only a portion of the tooth remains, it’s typically preferred to have it extracted and then replaced with something else.
And then there are emergency circumstances, where pain is involved. Even though the “best” thing to do dentally would be to preserve a tooth, there may be a traumatic injury or severe pain involved. The priority of the patient in those situations is simply to get out of pain as quickly as possible. Given the circumstances, your dentist may recommend extracting the tooth to stabilize the situation and severity of the pain. This scenario is often determined on a case-by-case basis, given the preferences of the patient and recommendations of the personal dentist.
Promptly Replacing Missing Teeth
Removing a natural tooth or losing one to disease/trauma creates space in your smile. This extra room can lead to lack of support for neighboring teeth, resulting in shifting and misaligned biting relationships (among other problems.) Promptly replacing your missing tooth with a permanent restoration will help to restore function as well as aesthetics.
The best way to replace missing teeth is with dental implants. These restorations provide the most lifelike tooth function and facial support of any modern-day rehabilitative treatment. Unlike conventional removable dentures, implants and implant-supported prosthetics offer better performance and improved comfort.
If you’re debating having your teeth extracted and replaced with dentures or implants, it’s best to speak to an experienced implant specialist like Dr. Saunders. Call our office in The Woodlands today for an expert opinion.