To extract or preserve? How we restore damaged teeth to healthy function and aesthetics

True to our name, at Innovative Dental Care, we blend the latest dental science and technology innovations with highly personalized, gentle, and friendly care. Led by Dr. Summer, our team works closely with individuals and families from throughout the metro Omaha and greater eastern Nebraska area to preserve natural teeth. However, there are some situations where a badly decayed or severely damaged tooth cannot be repaired. For the safety and health of your mouth and the “rest of you,” the affected tooth must be removed.

To extract or preserve … that is the question!

Dental decay and periodontal disease are progressive conditions. The longer these conditions are allowed to go untreated, the worse the damage becomes and the more extensive and invasive the procedures required to restore the affected areas to health. For instance, early-stage tooth decay (or enamel erosion) may be repaired. Its effects may even be reversed with modifications to oral hygiene or the introduction of oral care products like fluoride or special mouth rinses.

Untreated tooth decay can also cause holes in the teeth. These cavities may be repaired with specially prepared and shaped dental materials or fillings. Once secured in place, the filling “fills in” the hole and replaces the tooth structure lost due to decay. If the decay continues to go untreated, the inner parts of the tooth may be damaged. Root canal therapy can resolve inflammation or infection inside of the tooth. By removing the inflamed or infected tissue, this procedure preserves the tooth.

Not all teeth can be preserved with root canal therapy or alternative surgical endodontic procedures. Dental extractions may be on the horizon for teeth that are not candidates for these procedures or for treated teeth that do not heal properly. At Innovative Dental Care, we use gentle, precision techniques and technologies to loosen and lift the tooth. You won’t feel anything due to our use of localized anesthetic. We can also discuss sedative options for added comfort for teeth that require surgical extraction and are a little harder to remove.

Bear in mind that extraction is almost always a last resort process. The exception is those teeth that must be removed to make room for orthodontic treatment and those that are the last to erupt in the mouth (the third molars or “wisdom teeth”). By the time these teeth break through the gums, there is often too little room for them to develop or erupt properly. What then happens is the teeth become impacted or partially or fully trapped in the jaw. Impacted wisdom teeth must be removed to restore oral health and to prevent complications, such as damage to neighboring teeth. Unlike most other teeth, wisdom teeth are not necessary. In fact, some people never develop these molars, or some of them may fail to break through the gums.

We encourage you to contact Innovative Dental Care at (402) 507-5805 before potential signs of damage to the tooth arise. The sooner we intervene with problems and halt the progression of decay, the greater the likelihood that we will be able to save the tooth.