In some cases the tooth in question may have been too badly chipped or damaged, or perhaps knocked out altogether in an accident. Other teeth may have to be removed if they’ve suffered from decay which has spread to the root or perhaps become badly infected.
If a tooth is missing then it can completely ruin the overall effect of your smile. This isn’t merely a question of vanity, either. If you’re missing a tooth then you’ll be unable to relax when talking to people or eating and drinking. Every time you open your mouth you’ll be unable to shake the feeling that whoever you’re liaising with will be staring at the gaping hole where your missing tooth ought to be, and whether you’re involved in a professional or social situation, this will stop you being able to relax and express yourself properly.
The good news, however, is that a modern dental clinic will be able to cope with a missing tooth and replace it in a manner which is natural and long lasting. The unique selling point of a root form dental implant is that it comes in two parts, therefor replacing both the root and the crown of the missing tooth. The crown of the tooth is the enamel part which is visible to the naked eye, whilst the root is buried beneath the gum line, attached to the jaw and anchoring the tooth in place. In cosmetic dental implants the ‘root’ part of the tooth is a pin made of surgical steel which is attached directly to the jaw bone. Over a period of time, this pin will actually become organically attached to the bone, thus turning into a permanent part of the patient’s body. Once this has been achieved, an artificial crown will be attached to the pin, having been individually crafted to exactly resemble the tooth it is replacing. The advantages of this kind of teeth replacement are that they look completely natural, are very strong and, provided you look after them, will last just as long as a natural tooth.
Often, when dealing with the problems caused by a badly decayed or infected tooth, a dentist and patient must work together to decide whether it would be better to use root canal treatment to deal with any decay and infection thus repairing the damaged tooth, or remove the tooth as a whole and replace it with an implant as described above. Root canal work will be carried out by a dentist who specialises in endodontics, a specialism which deals in treating the soft tissue inside the tooth. This tissue is known as the pulp and contains the nerve and blood vessels. During root canal treatment this tissue, which has become decayed or infected, is removed and replaced with some kind of filling, thus allowing the tooth to go on being used. On occasions, however, a dentist may not be able to remove all of the damaged pulp, or the tooth may be too badly cracked or chipped to be viable no matter what is done. If your dental technician thinks this might be the case then they may well recommend that you take the step of having your damaged tooth removed and an implant fitted in its’ place. The option of an implant may not be suitable for certain patients who have poor quality bone in the jaw, although some dentists may offer a bone graft to combat this.
Ultimately, the question of whether to opt for root canal treatment or choose an implant instead will be something which a conscientious dental technician will help you to answer by explaining precisely what each process involves, the problems either one of them may cause for you and the advantages that each has to offer. Often, a person’s first instinct is to keep their natural tooth no matter what, but a custom made, well fitted implant will look every bit as natural as the tooth it is replacing, and will be able to handle anything your diet and lifestyle throws at it.
The overarching conclusion to reach is that modern dentistry can save or replace any tooth, no matter how decayed, damaged or infected, and that working side by side with your dental technician, you’ll be able to find the perfect solution for your individual situation.