What if the Damage Goes Untreated?Minor tooth damage is usually no more than a cosmetic issue, and they tend not to impact your oral health. However, if tooth damage extends past the enamel layer of a tooth and into the inner layers, a path opens up to allow bacteria inside. As bacteria make their way into the tooth, they make themselves at home in the canals of your tooth, where they begin to multiply. They also begin attacking the pulp of your tooth, which leads to inflammation and severe pain. The longer this infection goes untreated, the worse it becomes. Bacteria can spill out of the root and into the jaw, forming an abscess. Abscesses can rupture, which can then enable the bacteria to get into the bloodstream, where it can cause several other serious health complications.
Is an Extraction the Best Course of Action?Minor damage usually only requires a cosmetic treatment. More significant damage, however, can usually be treated with a crown or a filling. It is always preferable to save a damaged tooth if possible. If you are faced with tooth damage, we perform a thorough oral exam to determine the best course of action. We visually inspect your teeth and gums as well as take x-rays, which allow us to assess damage below the gumline, if there is any. If we determine the tooth cannot be saved, we then make the call to extract. There are several reasons why a tooth may need to be extracted:
Types of ExtractionsThere are two types of extractions, simple and surgical. Simple extractions are simple procedures. The affected tooth is moved back and forth in its socket until the periodontal ligament widens. Then the tooth is removed.
Surgical extractions are used in more complex situations, such as teeth that are shattered or broken below the gumline. With these extractions, incisions are made in the gums to expose the whole tooth and the surrounding bone. Next, the tooth is removed. This may involve removing a small amount of bone that might be obstructing the tooth. In some cases, the tooth may need to be sectioned and removed in parts. After removal, the area is cleaned, and the gums are sutured closed.
Whether you have undergone a simple extraction or a surgical extraction, damaged teeth that have been removed need to be replaced. The only time teeth do not need replacing after extraction is if the wisdom teeth are removed or if the teeth were removed to create space for orthodontics. We will discuss your options with you to determine the best replacement for your needs.
While most damage can be restored with treatments like crowns or fillings, there are some situations in which these solutions will not be effective. In fact, they can even compromise the affected teeth further. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call OHIOSmiles at (740) 439-2501 today.