Why Your Tampa Dentist Might Recommend an Extraction
Gum (periodontal) disease and dental decay are the leading causes of tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is an infection in the gums caused by the bacteria in plaque and tartar (calcified plaque). When plaque isn’t removed daily, it will build up on and around the teeth and below the gum line. The bacteria irritate the gum tissue (gingiva), which eventually starts to recede. Over time, the bone beneath the gingiva will start to recede, too. With less bone supporting the teeth, the teeth become loose, and some may require an extraction.
Deep dental decay can cause tooth loss for two reasons. First, there is so much decay in the coronal portion of the tooth that we cannot safely restore it with a filling or crown. Second, the decay can travel to the pulp canal, irritating the nerve tissue and causing it to die. If a patient does not want to proceed with root canal therapy to save the natural tooth, the best course of action is an extraction.
How to Restore a Missing Tooth
It’s important to restore missing teeth to prevent damage to adjacent teeth and the jaw joint. Your Tampa dentist can recommend a few ways to restore your tooth.
A dental bridge: A bridge is a fixed appliance made up of three components: Two crowns and a pontic, or fake tooth. All three components are fused. The crowns fit over the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth, while the fake tooth fills the empty space.
A dental implant: An implant is a post or screw that is surgically placed into the jawbone. It acts like the root of a tooth. An abutment screws into the implant, and a dental crown fits over the abutment. An implant looks, feels, and functions just like a natural tooth. It’s easy to care for (just brush and floss like usual) and supports the bone, helping to prevent gum disease.
A partial denture: This is a removable appliance made of a resin or resin-and-metal base with a fake tooth (or teeth) attached. Sometimes, a removable partial has clasps that fit around adjacent teeth for added support.