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Can Healthy Teeth Be Replaced With Dental Implants?

August 15, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — myfrederickdentist @ 4:15 pm
Lower half of woman's face smiling with a diagram indicating her front tooth is an implant

While dental implants are one of the best solutions for replacing your natural teeth, nothing really compares to the ones we’re born with! Our natural teeth serve us better than any alternatives and can last a lifetime if we care for them properly.  

Why, then, do dentists recommend tooth extractions and dental implants? Investigative reporters discovered that in the past decade, there’s been a growing number of tooth extractions in cases where the tooth could have been repaired instead. While it’s unlikely that your dentist would advocate for a treatment you don’t really need, it might put your mind at ease to understand why and when dental implants are required. Keep reading to learn more!

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are prosthetics that are inserted into the mouth in place of your missing teeth. They are supported by a metal rod that acts like the root of a tooth and fuses with your jawbone. Then they’re capped with a crown that’s been customized to match your natural pearly whites. They’re often the preferred method to replace teeth because they look and function more like your natural teeth than other restorative options like dentures or bridges. They’re more permanent, don’t need to be removed and cleaned regularly, and there’s less risk of them shifting or becoming displaced.

Why Not Pull Natural Teeth?

Because we only have one set of natural teeth throughout our adult lives, dentists usually want to preserve them. Even with state-of-the-art technology and materials available, dental restorations can’t quite match our natural teeth in stability and functionality.  

Not only that, but once teeth go missing our jawbone begins to reabsorb the bone mass left behind. If enough teeth are missing, or if you wait long enough before restoring lost teeth, the jaw can weaken to the point that it no longer supports teeth on its own. A good dentist will want to set you up for long-term success. That means they’re highly likely to consider other treatment options before they recommend removing a viable natural tooth.

When Do Teeth Need to Be Removed?

Most dentists try to reserve tooth extraction as a last resort for extreme cases, or when other treatments haven’t worked. That said, there are times when it’s the only option. For example, they might need to pull a tooth that has decayed past the point where a filling or root canal would be effective. In such cases, they may want to extract the tooth and replace it with a dental implant.

Your dentist isn’t likely to recommend services you don’t need. If they’ve suggested a dental implant but you’d like to try other methods first, feel free to ask them about it! They can go over the specifics of your case with you so that you understand the condition of your teeth and why they advised a certain treatment plan. The more we know about our teeth, the better equipped we are to keep them healthy and strong for the long haul!

About the Practice

At My Frederick Dentist, you can meet all of your dental care needs under one roof without long wait times. Everyone from children to seniors can benefit from services ranging from basic checkups and cleanings to dental implant procedures and maintenance. If you have questions about dental implants, feel free to contact the office on the website or call (301) 698-9552.

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