Reading about dental implants online is a little like reading the blurb on the back of a book: it gives you a general impression of what’s going to happen, but the little details and nuances are left out. For instance, most dentistry websites give the impression that dental implants are only a solution for replacing teeth that you’ve already lost. While that’s certainly true, most of these websites fail to mention that patients currently living with painful, infected teeth can also benefit from dental implants. Today, we’ll take a closer look at how removing problematic teeth prior to dental implant placement can help you enjoy the benefits of a healthier mouth sooner.
Tooth Loss Isn’t Neat and Tidy
Sometimes, letting nature take its course isn’t the best option. Waiting until the teeth fall out on their own can mean months or even years of impaired chewing ability, poor self-esteem, and chronic discomfort or reliance on OTC pain medication. Even worse, allowing infected teeth to linger can increase the chances of infection and inflammation spreading to other parts of the body. Whether a predisposition for “bad” teeth runs in your family or you spent your younger years skipping the daily dental hygiene routine, you should discuss your options with a dentist.
Removing to Restore
Current dental wisdom asserts that keeping your natural teeth is optimal, so your dentist will not recommend removing a tooth unless it’s in your best interest. However, if highly problematic teeth cannot be brought back to good health and functionality using more conservative methods (like root canal therapy), extracting and replacing them offers a sound alternative.
The nature of a tooth extraction procedure will vary depending on several factors, including how much of the tooth’s crown is visible above the gum line, whether there is a significant risk for the tooth breaking during extraction, and whether any of the teeth or surrounding tissues have abscessed. In most cases, patients will need to wait until the extraction sites have healed before proceeding with dental implant placement. In some cases, though, patients may opt to have the implants placed immediately after extraction. General dentists usually perform simple extraction but will refer their patients to an oral surgeon or periodontist for surgical extractions and placing the implant posts.
Long Term Benefits of Dental Implants
In the short term, people who opt to have non-functional dentition removed and replaced with dental implants experience near-immediate relief from the chronic pain caused by decayed and infected teeth. They feel good about smiling and laughing in public and they can enjoy foods that they may not have eaten in years. In the long term, dental implant wearers can enjoy:
- A long-lasting tooth replacement that does not require frequent refittings or replacement.
- A stable set of functional teeth that feel natural (the majority of dental implant wearers report that they tend to forget they even have implants).
- Healthy jaw bones, since implant posts stimulate the delivery of calcium and phosphorus to the jaw, keeping the bone tissue strong and healthy.
- A complete smile that looks healthy and youthful.
About Peddicord Family Dentistry
Dr. Erika Peddicord earned her DDS degree from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and opened Peddicord Family Dental in 2009. Her enthusiasm for building lasting relationships with her patients and her dedication to oral health set her apart as an outstanding family dentist. New and returning patients can schedule an appointment with Dr. Peddicord at our Ankeny, IA dentist’s office by calling (515) 963-3339.