If you’re facing dental problems that have jeopardized your teeth, you may be tempted to have them pulled. But before you do, it’s worth it to learn about the impact it can have on your oral health and quality of life. In fact, even missing just one tooth can lead to several problems down the line that require more time and money to fix at the dentist. Keep reading to learn about common issues that damage teeth, why it’s so important to save them, and how they can be restored!
How Do Teeth Become Damaged?
Here are some of the most common problems that, if left untreated, can lead to extractions:
- Cavities– Cavities are caused when bacteria in the mouth consume food particles (especially carbohydrates like sugar) and produce acid that eats away at the tooth structure.
- Fractures– Everyday chewing forces or nighttime clenching and grinding can lead to cracks or fractures, especially when teeth have been weakened by large fillings.
- Injuries – Damage can also be caused by trauma or accidents.
The Importance of Restoring (or Replacing) Your Teeth
In many cases, damaged teeth can be restored, although there are some situations in which an extraction is the best treatment. However, choosing to leave an empty space instead of getting a tooth replacement can lead to several complications:
- Bone loss in the jaws that changes the facial structure and appearance
- Other teeth shift or tip forward, making them more susceptible to gum problems and cavities
- Changes in bite alignment
- Difficulty eating and speaking
Fortunately, a restorative dentist has treatment options for every situation. For example, small cavities can be restored with fillings, while dental crowns are often a good choice for larger cavities. For cavities that have reached the nerve of the tooth and caused a toothache, a root canal can be done to relieve the pain.
When extractions are necessary, there are wonderful options for replacement, including bridges, dentures, and dental implants. Implants can even be used to anchor bridges and dentures, giving patients the best of both worlds and helping their prosthetic teeth look and feel more natural.
Everyone needs a full complement of teeth for great oral health. With multiple restorative options, you can save damaged teeth (or replace missing ones) and look forward to a healthy smile for many years.
About the Author
Dr. Darren Koch is a restorative dentist and honors graduate of the dental program at the University of Buffalo. He’s helped countless patients restore their smiles and always explains the pros and cons of each option to help his patients make the best decision for their needs. If you think you could benefit from restorative dentistry and have any questions, he can be reached via his website.