The answer is yes! The field of dentistry today is not the same as generations of the past. It wasn’t that long ago that dental offices might just remove teeth that were in poor condition, troubled, or were aesthetically unappealing; but things are beginning to change! Technology and surgical advancements are shifting the entire focus of dentistry. The destructive focus of removing teeth and bone is becoming an outdated idea and dental providers are beginning to repair deteriorating teeth and tissue by re-growing it in the necessary areas of the mouth.
As a long-time practicing dentist in Prescott and as an educator on advanced dental procedures, I am always disheartened and discouraged when individuals feel obligated to extract teeth. I would never want my patients to have to contend with the negative side effects that this choice can lead to. That is why it is so exciting that I can help more patients save teeth than ever before with the alternatives that science and technology have made available. While there have been many awesome advances in dentistry, it has always been my strong opinion that there is NO replacement for natural teeth or roots; especially when it comes to maintaining the sensation of chewing. But sometimes, the best or only option that dental care providers can offer is reasonable alternatives to the real thing such as dental implants. While implants do have many advantages over bridges and dentures, they can still lack the function, ability and longevity of natural teeth.
Your teeth may be savable in many cases, in fact there are only a few tooth conditions that ultimately condemn teeth for extraction examples of these are:
- Periodontal gum disease which destroys bone leaving much of the root without support.
- Chronic tooth infections that have completely destroyed surrounding supportive bone.
- Vertical Root Fracture -A fracture that runs vertically down the root under the bone resulting in the body rejecting the tooth and eating the supporting bone.
- Severely broken tooth crowns that have left the tooth un-restorable.
However, in the world of dentistry, many teeth can be saved with regenerative technologies! This is excellent news because often regenerative treatments can cost patients less money than replacement options and help to preserve natural tissue and bone. Before accepting the recommendation from your dentist to extract, seek a consultation or second opinion on the options that may be available to help you “save teeth.”
Listed below are many of the new advancements that are being used to help save or regenerate teeth:
- Surgical techniques can help grow or replace tissue and bone in areas where it has been depleted with the help of growth factors, donor tissues, and bone products.
- A person’s own blood can be drawn at the dental office and utilized for procedures. An in-office centrifuge spins down and harvests immune cells and then is placed back into the surgical site to prevent post treatment infections.
- Healthy growth factors can also be harvested from platelets in blood to speed up healing of the tissue and help re-grow bone in necessary areas.
- Membranes known as “fibrin tissue” are used to aid in gum regeneration and speed up and improve healing of needed transplanted tissues.
- Remaining roots with missing or broken crowns can now be left in the bone and used to place special coverings and attachments. This can help support and retain dentures, rather than pulling the root to replace it with an implant.
- A surgical procedure known as “hemi section” or “root amputation” has become more common. With this procedure, dentists can preserve healthy roots and crowns on multi-rooted teeth, and only remove the root that have become compromised.
- Teeth that have become negatively affected by periodontal disease often can be saved with the availability of bone products that can be used for grafting and special membranes that promote tissue healing.
- Teeth that have been treated by “root canal” with latent infections that have trouble healing, can often be saved by a surgical treatment known as an apicoectomy. In this procedure, the infected tip of the root is removed, and bone product is placed in the area to heal the site.
These are just a few examples of how teeth can be saved because of new technologies in the field of dentistry. Even though great strides have been to replace missing teeth, there is nothing that will ever be the same as the functionality of your natural teeth. That is why I will always recommend trying to save your own teeth if possible. Not only is it the most budget friendly option, but it is also the longer lasting and more comfortable choice. I recommend exploring options, seek consultation from a trusted dentist, receiving second opinions, and not being too quick to extract teeth that can be saved. Even if your tooth is deemed not salvageable; implants, crowns, and artificial teeth have come a long way! These options should still be able to help you create a healthy smile that allows you to eat the foods you love! At Pro Solutions Dental Group, Drs. Jason Campbell and Rick Farnsworth would love to consult with you and discuss your options for saving teeth. We are happy to give you a second opinion and help you find a solution that will be long-lasting, economical, and give you a healthy and attractive smile! We are always taking new patients, emergencies, and are open on Friday! Call us today to make an appointment at: 928-776-1208. Visit us online at: Rescuemytooth.com to receive 50% off your regenerative dentistry consultation and associated X-Rays today! We hope to see you soon!