Most of the time, we will do almost everything we can to save a threatened tooth. And with modern dental technology, we usually can. But there are some occasions when it might not be the right thing to do, when it might be better to remove a damaged tooth and replace it with a dental implant or dental bridge. Here are some of the reasons why we might make that recommendation.
Low Odds of Success
Many times, your tooth has a good chance of being saved. Root canal therapy has a very high rate of success, about as high as dental implant procedures. And gum disease treatment can also be very successful.
But that’s not always the case. If we evaluate your tooth and decide that the odds of successful treatment for the tooth are low–sometimes as low as 0%–we might recommend that it’s best to just remove the tooth and start fresh.
It Threatens Other Teeth
Your teeth aren’t isolated from one another. Sure, they may look compartmentalized like little ivory towers, but the truth is that your teeth are all in this together. And sometimes a problem with one tooth can be a major danger to other teeth. The damaged or diseased tooth can be a harbor for bacteria. It can trap food. It may make it hard to clean other nearby teeth.
Sometimes, bacteria can even spread from the root of one tooth and damage the bone around it. It isn’t long before this undermines neighboring teeth, too. In these cases, it’s better to get rid of a tooth than try to save it.
It Threatens Your Health
Not only are your teeth not isolated from each other, they’re not isolated from your body. Oral bacteria can spread from your teeth into your sinuses, your breath, your blood, and use other routes to spread through your body. Sometimes a tooth is such a reservoir of unhealth that the most expedient course is just to remove it and replace it with an attractive, functional, healthy option.
Treatment Is Invasive, Costly, or Time Consuming
Other times, the investment required to save a tooth might just not be worth it. There are many investments you have to make in saving a tooth. You have to be willing to have an invasive procedure, and sometimes more than one. This can be very inconvenient in your busy schedule, and it can be especially hard if you have dental anxiety.
And, of course, this kind of treatment can be expensive. It may be much more expensive than removing the tooth and replacing it. And at that point, we have to look hard at the decision and figure out if the benefits of saving the tooth are worth it.
Tooth Is Unattractive
Usually, the appearance of the tooth isn’t going to be the deciding factor. After all, cosmetic dentistry gives us many ways to beautify a tooth. And as part of a procedure like root canal therapy, it’s common to put a dental crown over the tooth anyway, giving it a new, attractive exterior.
But sometimes this is the last deciding factor. Saving the tooth will be invasive, costly, and time consuming, plus the tooth won’t look that good at the end of it all! Then it just might not seem worth it.
It’s Your Call
In the end, the decision to save or not save your tooth is up to you. We are here to serve you, and we want to make sure you get the results you’re looking for. We will make sure you understand the costs and benefits of each option, but the choice is yours.
Are you looking for a cosmetic dentist in The Woodlands who can help save or replace one or more threatened teeth? Please call (281) 367-5559 today for an appointment with Dr. Scott Young, Purveyor of Fine Dentistry.