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Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

If you have a damaged or traumatized tooth, extraction is not the only option as there is a chance that you can save your natural tooth. Whenever possible, it is always better to save your teeth rather than lose them, as missing teeth have negative effects on confidence, ability to chew, general health and the alignment of the remaining teeth. Here are the alternative procedures to tooth extraction if you would like to keep a beautiful, natural smile.

Save Your Teeth with Root Canal Procedures

Root canal treatment is the most popular alternative to teeth extraction. Endodontic treatment or a root canal treats the living parts found inside the teeth known as the pulp. The pulp consists of the soft tissue inside the teeth made up of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues that nourish the root during the development stage. When the teeth develop fully, it is possible to remove the pulp without affecting the teeth since the supporting tissues provide nourishment.

Tooth decay, repeat dental procedures, cracks, chips, trauma caused by accidents and faulty crowns can trigger infections and inflammation of the pulp. Root canal therapy treats the damaged pulp preventing major pain and abscess. Root canal treatment involves the non-surgical removal of the infected or inflamed pulp. The resulting hollow is cleaned, disinfected, shaped, filled and sealed to prevent further infections. A tooth restoration procedure using a crown or filling follows to restore the tooth to its normal function and structure. After root canal treatment, teeth can last for a lifetime without requiring another root canal treatment or dental procedure.

Save Your Teeth with Endodontic Surgery

Another alternative to losing teeth through extraction is to undergo endodontic surgery. One of the most popular surgeries is apicoectomy or root-end resection done when the inflammation or infection continues spreading to the bony tissue even after root canal treatment. An endodontist removes the infected area and sometimes part of the root and then seals the area. This is a safe procedure made comfortable by the use of local anesthesia. There are no serious complications and the bone heals within a few months.

Another sophisticated endodontic surgery procedure to save the teeth is intentional replantation. This involves the removal of the infected teeth for treatment outside the mouth. After treatment, an endodontist plants the tooth back in its socket and it resumes normal operation without the infection. Other surgery options to save the teeth include separating the tooth into two halves, or surgery to fix or remove an injured root.

Endodontic surgery is beneficial in the following situations:

  • For diagnosis and treatment of root infections, minor fractures and tiny canals that do not show on the x-rays; yet there are symptoms of infection.
  • For cleaning, treatment and sealing of too narrow canals that root canal treatment instruments cannot penetrate to reach the roots.
  • For treatment of teeth that fail to heal after a root canal treatment or develop infections after a root canal procedure.
  • For treatment of damaged roots and supporting bone structure of the teeth.

Other Ways to Save Your Damaged or Dying Teeth

Medication

Some people take painkillers to eliminate toothache and other symptoms instead of undergoing a tooth extraction immediately. However, this does not deal with the root problem but only eliminates the symptoms. It is possible to treat some infections using antibiotics, however. Still, it’s best to consult your dentist to find out the best solution for your specific needs.

Early Periodontal Disease Treatment

For people with mild gum disease, tooth loss is inevitable if the mild gum disease goes untreated and develops into chronic periodontal inflammation. Early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease is the best way to prevent tooth loss associated with periodontal disease.

Apart from endodontic procedures, maintaining proper dental hygiene is the best way to save your teeth from extraction or any other restorative dental procedure. Proper dental care involves brushing teeth properly at least twice a day, flossing daily, following a healthy diet and visiting the dentist regularly. This prevents damage to the teeth in the first place, thereby eliminating the need to undergo root canal treatment or teeth extraction. This is also the best way to ensure your teeth stay healthy for a long time and delay tooth loss.

If it is too late or impossible to save the teeth and extraction is inevitable, replacing the extracted teeth with dental implants and other structures is the best way to avoid the negative effects of physically visible tooth loss.

Conclusion

It is important to see your dentist regularly for routine dental care and examinations. This will help prevent the issues listed above. Maintaining good dental health will lead to a lifetime of smiles.

For many choosing a dentist can be one of the most difficult things to do in life. It is also one of the most important decisions you can make for your health. Below are a few of the things to consider when choosing a new dentist for you and your family.

Choosing The Best Dentist For You

-Clinical Experience. It is important to consider a dentist’s professional background before making an appointment. Knowing what school a dentist went to, what their area of expertise is and what other credentials they might have can help you decide if a certain dentist is right for you. Usually, this information is quite easy to find and located on a dentist’s website. The American Dental Association (ADA) only recognized 9 areas of dentistry that a dentist can specialize in. These are as follows: Endodontics (Root Canal Therapy), Periodontics (treatment of periodontal disease), Pediatric (dentistry for children), Prosthodontics (Advanced Crown/Bridge and Dentures), Oral and Maxillofacial pathologym Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, and Dental Public Health. A general dentist will have knowledge of all of these areas but may choose to take advanced classes in any of these areas to improve care.

-Patient Reviews. With the widespread use of the internet this can be easily found. Many dentists have profiles on a wide range of sites where patients can leave feedback for the dentist but also for prospective new patients. It is important to note the extremes of reviews. If a dentist only has a handful of reviews it is not a very good sample. But once the reviews build up it is easier to get a good overall picture of other patients experiences and what you can expect from your experience.

-Services Offered. It is important to note the dental services offered by the prospective dentist. If you know the type of dental work you need or want, then you need to find a dentist with the experience and knowledge to fit your needs. Some general dentists do not do certain procedures (like teeth extractions or root canal therapy) while others have the skills to cover more services in office. It is important to note a referral to a specialist is not a bad thing. Even the most experienced and skilled dentist will refer patients usually for the patients comfort and to place them in the best hands available for the dental issue.

-Gentle, Comfortable Dental Care. For many patients, dental fear is a real part of their lives. Finding the right dentist can make the difference between seeking care and avoiding it. Not all dentists are trained nor have the ability to handle patients with real dental fear.

Conclusion

As stated earlier finding the right dentist can be difficult but with the steps outlined above it might make it a little easier. Always ask friends and family members for recommendations, it is a good place to start researching a new dentist.

Many of us have dental fillings in place for many years and the question becomes when should they be replaced? Dental fillings are man made materials used to replace tooth structure that has been damaged by tooth decay. The dental filling will allow your dentist to restore both function and shape of your tooth back to its natural form.

Types Of Dental Fillings

-Amalgam (Silver). Use of amalgam has seen some controversy over the years due to its mercury content. Amalgam is made up of a mixture of various metals. Use of amalgam has some drawbacks (beyond its mercury content) which include:

1. No Bonding Properties. Amalgam cannot be bonded to existing tooth structure. This means that a tooth must be over prepared removing more natural tooth structure than necessary to ensure the amalgam filling will hold in place.

2. Not A Cosmetic Restoration. Amalgam is a darker color and cannot be matched to your existing teeth.

3. Increased Risk Of Tooth Fracture. Another disadvantage to using a metal allow is that it can expand and contract over time based on your oral environment. If the metal allow expands too much it can cause your tooth to weaken and fracture over time.

-Composite Resin. This has become the preferred dental restoration for most dentists and patients. The advantages of composite resin include:

1. Cosmetic Restoration. Dental composite is a tooth colored material that can be matched to your existing teeth. If done properly a dental composite can match perfectly to your natural teeth.

2. Excellent Bonding Properties. Unlike dental amalgam restorations, a composite resin filling can be directly bonded to your natural tooth structure. This creates a stronger attachment to the teeth.

3. Conservative Restoration. Since a composite resin can be bonded directly to the tooth much less natural tooth structure needs to be removed. There is no need to take away any more tooth structure than is absolutely necessary to restore the tooth back to its natural form and function.

The main disadvantage to the use of composite resin is the presence of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in some dental composites. If this is a concern to you, ask your dentist if they are using BPA free dental composite.

Signs A Dental Filling Needs To Be Replaced

-Temperature Sensitivity. This can be quite uncomfortable but it is important to see your dentist when it arises. If the pain goes away after exposure to hot or cold after a few seconds, it is usually repairable but if the pain lingers for a longer time after removal of exposure, it may indicate damage to the nerve that cannot be repaired with a simple dental filling.

-Pain Upon Biting. This can indicate a fracture beginning in your tooth from an existing dental restoration.

-Throbbing, Constant Pain. If the tooth decay reaches the nerve of the tooth it will create a toothache pain. Root canal therapy may be required at this point.

-Fractured Dental Filling. If you notice a piece of your dental filling has broken off you need to see your dentist immediately to have it repaired or replaced.

Conclusion

Being aware of your signs and symptoms is key to knowing when to see your dentist. Regular dental examinations and dental x-rays are needed to fully evaluate your existing dental fillings and give your dentist all the information needed as to when your dental fillings need replacement. It is best to diagnose replacement as soon as possible to avoid more extensive dental work.

Tooth decay is a slow, destructive process. In its earliest stages, a decayed tooth, is easily treatable. If left untreated it will lead to dental infection and tooth loss. The best defense against tooth decay is good oral hygiene along with regular dental visits. These routine dental visits will give your dentist the ability to detect tooth decay in its earliest stages.

Signs Of Tooth Decay

-Pain/Discomfort. Having any kind of oral or tooth pain is not normal. It is usually a sign that something is wrong.

-Tooth SensitivityThis can be due to a variety of things but it is important to note the type of sensitivity present. Is it sensitive to hot temperatures, cold temperatures, or both? Is it sensitive to sugary foods? Is it sensitive to acidic foods? If the tooth or teeth are sensitive to most or all of the questions posed than it is cause for concern.

-Persistent Bad Breath (Halitosis). Bad breath can be caused by many things like the foods we eat, periodontal disease, and systemic disease (like diabetes). Tooth decay can also present itself with a persistent malodor due to the bacteria present in tooth decay.

Tooth Decay Treatment

Treatment of tooth decay usually takes two routes. One is when it is detected early enough to see if it will reverse itself through remineralization and the other is restoring the tooth to its natural form and function.

-Remineralization. Very shallow cavities in our teeth can sometimes fix themselves with a little help. These cavities must only be in the outer layer of our teeth (enamel). Once it passes theough this layer the tooth decay will not reverse itself. The repair process is known as remineralization. Application of fluoride to the teeth can reverse the process of early tooth decay. This is usually done using a fluoride supplement or through application at a dental office. Fluoride can be harmful at high levels so it is important to follow your dentist’s advice.

-Dental Restoration. Once the tooth decay enters the underlying layers of a tooth it is time for a dental restoration to restore the form and function of the teeth. Restorations can include dental amalgam, dental bonding, and dental crowns. Dental crowns (can be porcelain or gold) are necessary when the tooth decay is extensive.

-Root Canal Therapy. This treatment will be necessary if the tooth decay has entered the “nerve center” of the tooth. This allows the dentist to save the tooth preserving it for future use. Once a tooth receives a root canal it is generally recommended that a dental crown be placed.

-Tooth Extraction. If a patient decides to forego root canal therapy or the decay is so extensive that it is not able to be restored, the only option is to remove the tooth (or what is left of that tooth). This is usually a last resort option.

Tooth Decay Conclusion

It is important to remember that tooth decay is preventable and even if it does arise it can be treated with minimal care. The key is early diagnosis. The only way to diagnose tooth decay early is through regular dental examinations and routine radiographs. At the first sign of tooth decay call your dentist to evaluate the situation.