Saving A Tooth Is Worth It!

Posted on Dec 30, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

If you lose your hearing, you can regain some level of hearing through the use of hearing aids. However, nothing will ever work as well as the natural ear structure you once had. Even with the most expensive hearing aid options, adults often complain of echos and background noise interferences.

Like your hearing, your natural teeth are essentially irreplaceable. And, while dental implants are the next best thing to the natural teeth you once had, the majority of those with implants could have avoided needing them in the first place with a concentrated team effort between their general dentist and a dental specialist.

Of course, there are times when a tooth cannot be saved. In instances where a tooth with a fracture breaks off below the gum line, it can no longer support a crown. Had the crown been placed on the tooth prior to the break, it would have likely saved the tooth. For patients who find themselves in this position because they delayed this recommendation or felt a crown was too expensive, their dentist can hardly be faulted.

Additionally, some people don’t keep their 6-month dental exams and cleanings, feeling “if nothing hurts, nothing is wrong.” However, these visits are opportunities to catch problems that are avoidable or easily repaired before problems become more complicated and costly. Delaying these visits only positions you at greater risk for “when” rather than “if” bigger problems will arise.

Too many adult teeth are pulled because the patient feels a crown is too expensive. I believe this occurs when an adult hasn’t been educated as to what lies ahead. For example, when you lose a tooth, studies show the next tooth you’ll lose will be an adjacent tooth. As the trend continues, dentures are an eventual fate. Although dentures seem an easy way to deal with tooth loss, few truly understand the repercussions. Denture wearers typically struggle to chew comfortably and efficiently, take more medications, and die ten years younger than those who kept their natural teeth.

Many general dentists send us patients who have varying stages of gum disease (the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss) or for dental implant placement. I see patients from other specialists as well, including orthodontists, oral surgeons, and prosthodontists. The dental professionals who take the time to explain the long-term benefits of saving a tooth, rather than pulling it, are a credit to their profession as well as to their patients.

For patients who don’t want to invest in treatment to achieve healthy teeth and gums, I believe it is because they are unaware as to the years of frustration, discomfort, health risks and ongoing expenses to come. When you save your teeth, you can enjoy the lasting benefits of “the real thing.” Call (828) 274-9440 to learn more.

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