As a rule, a good tooth should always be preserved. A damaged tooth can usually be restored with the use of a composite or "filling", or if the damage is more extensive, with the use of a crown or "cap". These are time-proven techniques that are extremely successful.
A more compromised tooth may have its vital part ("the nerve") sick or dead. If the tooth structure is basically sound, then by all means an endodontic teatment ("root canal") should be performed. The success rate of that technique is extremely high, and allows the preservation of the natural root structure, the "anchor" found within the jaw bone. There is nothing like the real root structure, and if at all possible, it should be preserved.
However, on occasion, the preservation of the tooth is NOT possible. Too much damage, an unfavorable fracture, a failed endodontic treatment, advanced periodontal bone loss, all factors that could make a tooth not maintainable, or not worth saving since it would only be a source of persistent complications...Then it is time to extract it, unfortunately, and consider its replacement.
There are several ways to replace a tooth, or a group of teeth, depending on each situation: removable partial denture, fixed bridge, or dental implants. Each method has pros and cons, but in the vast majority of cases, dental implants are by far the best replacement solution for your missing tooth or teeth.
Simply put: The dental implant is a synthetic root. It replaces the natural root that you lost. Some clever guy discovered 50+ years ago that for some reason, bone loves titanium. Bone will not just heal AROUND titanium, but will CHEMICALLY FUSE TO IT. So after a few months, the implant becomes "rock solid", "like a metal post poured in concrete". Awesome. Another beautiful thing is, it almost always work! Inserted in properly prepared sites by specialized hands, implants are 98-99%+ successful. Great !!!
Implants can be used and adapted to every need: to replace a single missing tooth or groups of teeth, to help retain removable dentures or even to provide a "bolted in" denture solution (the "All-on-4") that will provide amazing chewing power to a fully edentulous jaw. There are a lot of options, and our fully integrated specialized implant center can offer them all.
The main issues associated with the placement of dental implants are anatomical: "an implant is like a post in the ground..." A good post needs some good ground around it. In many cases, we do meet limitations in the amount of "ground" (jaw structure) available. Then some extra reconstruction work may be needed for the alveolar ("dental") ridge: bone graft, ridge augmentation or expansion, "sinus lift", with more or less work needed depending on the individual case.
Here is the good news: With Dr. Sorel, a board-certified, experienced Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon in house, there is basically no ridge reconstruction need we cannot address.
A dental implant will heal over a few months. Some can be used immediately (as in the "All-on-4" technique), most should be left to heal quietly if possible, and then used once fully healed ("osseointegrated"). Whatever the method employed, Dr. Ashba will be able to take care of the temporary and permanent restorations as needed.
So let us know about your dental implant wishes! We will do our absolute best to make them happen!
CALL US TODAY FOR AN APPOINTMENT! (518) 371-0636