Tooth extractions are typically a last-resort option for teeth that are damaged or decayed beyond a point where they can be salvaged. While not every possible reason for extracting a tooth can be avoided (such as a tooth that is damaged in an accident), there are steps you can take to help prevent the need for this dental procedure.
One of the best ways to avoid needing a tooth extraction is to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. This is done by following a daily regimen of oral hygiene that includes at least twice daily brushing as well as daily flossing. Although many people find it easy enough to stick to a regular routine of brushing their teeth, a large percentage of people neglect to include flossing a part of their oral care routine. Doing so can leave teeth and gums in jeopardy, since a substantial area in the mouth is inaccessible to a toothbrush and can only be effectively cleaned by using a dental floss product.
In addition to the steps you can take at home to keep teeth clean at home, it’s also important to visit the dentist on a regular basis. Most dental professionals recommend a twice yearly visit for preventative care. During these visits, the dentist or a dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth. This cleaning goes beyond what you can do yourself at home and can help to remove hard-to-remove plaque and tartar build-up which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. During your routine visits, the dentist will also check your teeth and gums for any signs of decay or inflammation. By identifying problems early, and then treating any issues as they occur, you can help prevent the need for a tooth extraction.
Why is it so important to make these routine visits to the dentist? As mentioned, professional cleaning of your teeth can tackle stubborn plaque and tartar that are not easily removed simply by adhering to a stringent oral hygiene routine. But in addition to these thorough cleanings, the fact that your dentist can identify any potential problems early can go a long way towards saving your teeth so they don’t fall out or have to be pulled.
For example, if your dentist notices signs of tooth decay early, you can have the decay removed and the cavity filled. This is a relatively easy procedure and will still allow you to retain full function of your tooth. If you opt for a tooth-colored filling material as opposed to the more traditional amalgam (silver) filling, no one will even notice that you had any work done on your tooth so it will not only retain its full strength and function, but it will also retain its original aesthetic qualities.
If, on the other hand, you don’t visit the dentist or ignore the fact that the dentist finds areas of decay and don’t have them treated, the decay will continue to impact your tooth over time. In some cases, this will lead to the need for a root canal procedure and it may require the dentist to pull the tooth if the tooth becomes so badly decayed that it is no longer viable. Ignoring a small problem in this instance can lead to an outcome that is much more serious and can result in you losing your tooth.
Taking some basic steps on an everyday basis is the best way to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy and strong, helping to prevent the need for a tooth extraction.
For more information about tooth extractions, contact Gentle Dental in Queens at 718-461-0100.