As amazing as new technology such as dental implants are, how do they compare to the way nature has designed your natural teeth?
If you’ve had dental challenges, you may have noticed that your dentist always first considers options to save a tooth whenever possible. This is because your dentist understands how valuable each and every tooth is to your dental health – and that your natural teeth are far superior to any type of replacement available.
This article will show all of the reasons why saving your natural tooth is important and why you should do everything possible to save and maintain your natural teeth. We will also mention some common misconceptions about saving natural teeth.
Reasons to Save Your Natural Tooth
When you lose a tooth, two immediate concerns are bone loss and shifting teeth. When a dental bridge is used to compensate for a lost tooth, bone loss still occurs at the tooth extraction site because a tooth is no longer there to create pressure in the jaw and spur the regeneration of bone.
Significant bone loss from several missing teeth can affect the appearance of your face, and the overall health of your mouth. Once bone loss has occurred, it is irreversible. Bone loss limits your dental treatment options; for example dental implants require good bone density to be successful.
If no restorative dental treatment is done to fill the space left by a missing tooth, shifting of adjacent teeth can occur causing more severe dental challenges. Why would your teeth shift into the missing space created by a lost tooth? The reason is because your teeth depend on one another to keep their position. Once teeth tilt or shift, this can throw off the balance of your bite position and lead to complications such as TMD .
Dental implants on the other hand, mitigate the loss of bone and fill the space left by a lost tooth. The implant stimulates the regeneration of bone in a similar way to a natural tooth. Your teeth, however, do much more than just mechanically chew food. Teeth contain nerves that send communication to the brain. These messages tell your brain how hard to chew, thereby protecting your teeth from biting too hard. Implants have no nerves and so the sensory connection with the brain is lost and this communication is not possible.
Saving your natural tooth has several benefits that cannot be received from dental implants. By saving your natural tooth, you maintain the natural structure of your mouth and jaw allowing you to continue chewing normally.
Tooth extraction is cheaper – False! When a natural tooth is extracted, it must be replaced with an artificial tooth to prevent other teeth from shifting, and to prevent future dental problems. The cost of a denture, bridge or implant, plus the extraction, often is higher than the cost of an endodontic procedure that would save the tooth for years to come. Most dental insurance plans cover endodontic, or root canal treatment.
Tooth extraction is less painful than a root canal treatment – False! Modern techniques and effective anesthesia make root canal treatment virtually painless. In fact, discomfort after the procedure is generally greater with a tooth extraction. Patients who have experienced root canal treatment are six times more likely to describe it as “painless” than patients who have not had a root canal.
Tooth extraction is quicker – False! Endodontic treatments generally require one to two visits lasting less than an hour each. An extraction requires one visit, but the denture, bridge or implant will require several additional visits with your dentist.
It is important to be on the same page as your dentist and make every effort to save and preserve your natural teeth. Please contact us at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group for an appointment today!