How we take out a tooth and examine options for closing the gap.
At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, we will always try to save a patient’s natural tooth wherever that is a practical option.
There are a number of procedures including fillings, crowns and root canal procedures that can help us to do this, but sometimes a tooth is simply too badly decayed or damaged to be worth attempting to save. The only option available to us at this stage is to extract the tooth.
Providing that the extraction is straightforward, and does not require specialist dental treatment, such as where the tooth has broken at the gum line, it can be extracted by one of our experienced Epsom dental team. Whilst some patients believe that a tooth is pulled out using force, this is usually not the case and the procedure is less traumatic than many patients fear.
To remove a tooth, the patient will be given a local anaesthetic to minimise any discomfort. Using forceps, the dentist will then grip the tooth and rock it gently from side to side. By doing this, the bone which holds the tooth in place slowly releases its grip and the tooth can then be gently removed from its socket. Naturally, there will be some bleeding and you will be given some gauze to bite onto which helps to form a clot – this is the start of the healing process. You will be given full aftercare instructions to ensure that your recovery is comfortable and straightforward.
Replacing the tooth
Particularly where the extraction site was visible, most patients will want to consider their options for replacing the lost tooth. There are three main options available for this which we offer at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic.
Whether partial or full, modern dentures offer a comfortable and realistic looking replacement option. Whilst some people do dislike dentures, they are a good option if you prefer to avoid invasive treatment.
A dental bridge can be used to ‘bridge’ the gap between teeth. This is a more secure option than a partial denture but does mean that the teeth adjacent to the gap have to be shaped in order to attach the crowns which hold it in place. Some patients are reluctant to have this done to teeth that are otherwise healthy.
If you want a tooth replacement option that offers a natural look and feel, as well as strength and longevity, dental implants are the solution for you. Using an artificial titanium root which is placed into the jawbone and allowed to fuse with it, we then attach a dental crown to complete the procedure. Although this does require invasive treatment, the initial inconvenience is well worthwhile and a dental implant could well last for twenty years or more providing that you take care of it.
We are always happy to discuss the various options to replace a missing tooth, whether extracted recently or some time ago. If you would like to discuss this with us, please arrange a consultation with one of our Epsom dentists by calling the Clock Tower Dental Clinic on 01372 720136.