When a tooth becomes damaged, especially if it’s severely compromised, it can seem like the simplest solution would be to extract the tooth and replace it with an undamaged prosthesis. After all, the tooth won’t heal itself over time, and if it’s lost any of its natural structure, it won’t grow back. However, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t extract a tooth just because it’s damaged, and why your dentist will most likely suggest restoring and preserving the tooth’s remaining healthy structure, instead.
The benefit of preserving your tooth structure
The fact that your tooth structure doesn’t heal or repair itself is one of the most important reasons why you should preserve it. Most modern dental restorations are designed to do so. For instance, dental crowns can be created as partial or full restorations to avoid modifying more of your tooth structure than is necessary. This helps improve the long-term health and integrity of the tooth, which is especially important when restoring a tooth that’s structurally damaged. Extracting a tooth may be necessary in some circumstances, such as if a tooth is impacted or is too damaged for a restoration to save. However, if possible, your dentist will typically prefer to restore the tooth’s natural structure.
The consequences of extracting the tooth
The reason why extracting a tooth is only recommended when necessary is because its removal can also have an impact on your oral health. When it’s necessary, extracting a severely compromised or impacted tooth can help save the rest of your teeth and oral structures from suffering damage or other risks. However, tooth loss also affects your remaining teeth and oral structures, though in potentially different ways. This includes changes in your bite’s balance that cause other teeth to shift out of alignment, as well as increased risks of issues like gum disease, jawbone erosion, and further tooth loss.
What to do if a tooth does need extraction
If your dentist does recommend tooth extraction, it likely means the tooth cannot be saved with a custom restoration. However, replacing the extracted tooth as soon as possible can help restore and preserve the rest of your smile by mitigating the long-term consequences of tooth loss. For many patients, the best solution is to replace the extracted tooth with a dental implant, which comes with a prosthetic, root-like post that anchors a custom-designed, highly lifelike dental crown in place along your dental ridge.
Learn more by scheduling a visit
When a tooth is damaged, extracting and replacing it should only be a last resort. To learn more about why restoring and preserving the tooth is better for your oral health, schedule a consultation by calling Silver Smiles in Silver City, NM, today at (575) 534-3699.