Despite our best efforts, there are some instances in which we cannot keep a natural tooth. Decay, injuries, infection, or other conditions may prevent the natural tooth from being saved and can even become a potential threat to the surrounding teeth. If a tooth is causing problems, many patients find relief of symptoms after it has been extracted.
There are many reasons why a tooth may need to be extracted:
Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Smith perform the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery treatments in Metairie and Gretna, LA, including many tooth extractions. If you have been recommended for a tooth extraction, we will provide a thorough oral evaluation and discuss your treatment options, including replacement solutions. If you are interested in replacing your tooth after extraction, we offer several types of tooth replacement solutions, including dental implants. Please contact our office for more information.
Our main priority is to preserve your teeth and smile, but in some situations, removing a tooth is unavoidable. An extraction can help you avoid serious damage to other teeth. It's an extremely common procedure, and we offer several options for tooth replacement. You can learn more by hearing from our patients.
After having a tooth extracted, there are several options to consider for replacing the tooth. Dr. Smith and Dr. Ferguson will walk you through these options prior to your procedure so you can make an informed decision that fits your dental needs and budget.
Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that fuses to the jaw bone just like a natural tooth. This fusion provides a sturdy foundation for your implant, allowing you to regain full function of the replacement tooth. The presence of an implant post also prevents jaw bone loss by providing stimulation during chewing, which preserves facial structure. This helps maintain proper alignment of your other teeth. No special care or products are necessary to maintain good oral hygiene—simply brush and floss regularly. With proper care, a dental implant can last a lifetime.
A dental bridge is one or more false teeth held in place by dental crowns that are cemented on your adjacent existing teeth. Dental bridges restore the appearance of a missing tooth and some functionality, but do not have the full durability of a natural tooth or implant. You must take special care of your bridge and clean around the framework supporting the tooth. You will also have to replace your bridge due to wear and tear, which can be as frequent as every few years. Dental bridges do not fuse to the jaw bone, leaving you susceptible to jaw bone loss and dental shifting.
You can wear a partial denture to replace multiple missing teeth or a full denture to replace an entire arch of teeth. While they restore the appearance of your smile when you wear them, dentures do not restore oral function. Removable dentures are taken out during meals and brushing, and may require adhesive to stay in the mouth throughout the day. If not fitted properly, dentures may slip and cause oral sores. The cost of dentures can add up over time because they should be replaced every few years. With no root or implant post embedded into the jaw bone, dentures leave you susceptible to jaw bone loss and sagging facial features.
If you do not plan on replacing the extracted tooth immediately, we can place bone grafting material into the empty tooth socket. This treatment is known as socket preservation and helps maintain the size and shape of the socket. Socket preservation can prevent jaw bone loss associated with tooth loss and makes future implant placement easier.
You may choose not to replace the missing tooth with any type of restoration or bone grafting treatment. Over time, the jaw bone will begin to deteriorate in the area without a tooth root or implant post present. Adjacent teeth may shift into the open space, which can cause your other teeth to fall out of alignment or lead to bite problems. Even if you do not replace a tooth immediately, you may decide to one day receive a dental implant. As long as there is adequate jaw bone, you can receive a dental implant anywhere in the mouth regardless of how many years have passed since your extraction.
Our team at Oral Surgery Services is here to support and guide you through each step of your oral surgery care. Dr. Smith and Dr. Ferguson offer many types of anesthesia to make your tooth extraction experience comfortable and positive. If you have a tooth that is badly damaged, infected, or causing severe pain, we encourage you to contact our office for an evaluation. Dr. Smith and Dr. Ferguson will outline all of your treatment options and help determine the right course of action for your needs.