"Once upon a time in a land far, far away, merciless men wielded crude apparatus to threaten painful tooth extraction to collect dangerous information from their enemies. Back then we called them villains. Today we just call them dentists."
If after reading that chilling - yet fictitious - excerpt, you protectively covered your mouth and immediately broke into hives, you may have had a bad experience with a dentist in the past. And I'm betting it's been a while since your last check-up.
Is it mind-blowing how well I know you?
The truth is your dentist is not a villain and does not look forward to hurting you. To the contrary, he or she wants you to thrive. Your dentist should play a significant and ongoing role in your overall health and well being.
Many people avoid the dentist because they fear the pain of extractions and other reconstructive work, while reality dictates that avoiding the dentist for too long may result in an unavoidable need for these very treatments. To state the obvious, having regular check-ups and maintaining proper oral hygiene may save your teeth and in so doing help you avoid any unpleasant procedures.
Allow me to share some common reasons extractions become necessary, and in so doing I may be able to help you sidestep them in the future.
Sometimes teeth can be damaged beyond repair due to decay. In these cases, routine reconstructive work such as fillings, crowns and root canals are insufficient to treat the problem.
There are two kinds of gum disease: (1) Gingivitis which is reversible when good ongoing dental hygiene is implemented, but if left untreated may lead to (2) Periodontal Disease which is not reversible and can result in life-long treatment. Severe gum disease can lead to infection.
Bone loss around the tooth allows bacteria to access the root and kill the nerve of the tooth, eroding the adjoining bone and eventually the surrounding spaces and composition.
tooth fractures vary from minor to severe, the latter affecting the root, exposing the dentin and pulp tissue, and should be treated without delay.
There are also important reasons for extractions that aren't caused by prolonged poor oral hygiene or avoiding dental check-ups, rather simple natural physical make up. If these problems are ignored, however, they could lead to more serious problems down the road.
The removal of some teeth may be required when the size or number of teeth is not proportional to the jaw, hindering the eruption of neighboring teeth or causing other dental problems. Extraction also becomes important when orthodontic treatment is needed to fix crowding and improve alignment.
Typically affecting the third molars or wisdom teeth, these teeth are obstructed from attaining their natural (straight) position due to impact with tissue, the jawbone or another tooth.
And of course the cost of the repair or long-term treatment may also influence the decision for extraction. Team up with your dentist to determine the best course of action for you.
Begin today to commit to regular check-ups and take strides toward improved daily oral hygiene and I promise you two priceless discoveries: that you to a huge degree are in control of your own dental destiny, and that your dentist is a cutting-edge professional who cares about your overall health and well-being.
Your smile is your first impression. Together we can make it a good one