The Audacity of Hope…
Most dentists will tell you that the last thing they ever want to have to do is to remove a permanent adult tooth. In fact, they will fight tooth and nail to try to save one (sorry, tacky pun?)
When a patient presents us with a tooth that has severe decay, infection, badly broken down restorative work or has been injured from trauma, the first thing we must do is evaluate the health of the remaining portion of the tooth and its surrounding supportive bone.
To us, it’s not so much what we can see above the gum line that determines treatment options, but the quality and health of what is remaining below the gum line. To that end, our goal is to preserve what remains then develop a sound treatment plan to replace what is missing.
Although treatment may also involve healing nerve and gum tissue, patients are always amazed to learn that as long as their tooth has sound root structure and enough supporting bone surrounding it, we can save it!
Without the benefit of a crystal ball, there will always be uncertainties, but a good dentist makes treatment recommendations based on all the clinical and x-ray evidence concerning the compromised tooth while giving considerable thought to predicting the likelihood of long-term survival.
At Your Smile Dental Care, we also know from experience that a patient who is willing to care as much about and for an affected tooth as we do is more likely to keep the tooth for as long as possible. Many conditions that the patient may regard as “hopeless” can actually be fixed and the tooth can last for many more years once successfully treated.
Sometimes, a patients will ask us to remove their teeth because they are tired of frequent discomfort and wish to avoid future dental maintenance and associated costs. Others, surprisingly enough, have told us that they’d rather have false teeth (dentures) than have to deal with ongoing dental problems. While no two cases are ever alike and each patient has their own unique set of circumstances, we are bound to explain that removing teeth unnecessarily does not solve the issue of discomfort and dentures bring with them their own assortment of issues.
Removing a tooth may bring immediate relief from pain, but, unless you replace it with a suitable alternative tooth, a silent breakdown process begins that starts to destabilize the dynamics of the mouth (Dental Collapse).
But what happens when a tooth cannot be saved?
The hopeless tooth…
Sadly, there are times when conventional therapies fail or a tooth is so badly infected, fractured or is so loose from inadequate bone support that we must decide if the dentition is better off without it.
We call this prognosis hopeless. Nowadays, however, modern dentistry has treatment options that can replace your tooth with one that looks and functions almost as well as healthy, natural ones do. Dental implants have revolutionized the way we replace missing teeth without having to resort to dentures or remodeling adjacent teeth to accommodate a fixed bridge.
Helping our patients understand the thought process that goes into our treatment recommendations is crucial so that they can weigh the information and make well-informed decisions.
If you think that your teeth are in a “hopeless” state of disrepair, you may be surprised to learn that you have more options than you think.
Give us a call at (905) 5SMILES to book a consultation today!