Tooth extractions are routine for general dentists in San Jose, California. Dental professionals with expertise in restorative and cosmetic dentistry find the teeth replacement process to be just as straightforward. However, for patients, these procedures often stir up questions.
Contact The Glen Dental for a consultation to discuss tooth extraction, teeth replacement or both procedures, and you can count on our professional team to address all of your concerns. We’re committed to doing all that we can to create a positive and comfortable dental experience for every patient, and to that end, we’re happy to provide explanations and advice. When you leave our San Jose dentist office, you’ll have all the knowledge you’ll need to make an informed decision.
While an experienced dentist is the best source for information on tooth extractions and the process of teeth replacement, you might want to learn more now. Below, you’ll find answers to some of the questions we receive every day.
How is a Tooth Extraction Completed?
A comprehensive oral exam is the first step to any tooth extraction. Many San Jose dentists have state-of-the-art facilities equipped with the latest in dental technology to ensure quality care and precise treatment planning – at The Glen Dental, for example, we use digital x-rays, a cone beam computed technology (CBCT) scanning system and an iTero® scanner to assess each patient’s needs.
For most, tooth extraction is a simple procedure. In some cases, however, such as with undeveloped or impacted teeth that are sitting below the gumline, removal requires surgery.
Whatever the situation, extractions are always planned to be as pain-free as possible. With the administration of a local anesthetic and, if requested, oral sedation, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or IV sedation, patients can feel relaxed and at ease while in the dentist’s chair.
What is Recovery from a Tooth Extraction Like?
Whether simple or complex, extractions typically don’t involve a lengthy recovery period. Though the jawbone can take several weeks to fully heal, most San Jose patients feel back to normal after just a few days.
Dentists provide detailed aftercare instructions, and following the protocol provided allows for a speedy recovery. Keeping the tooth extraction site clean is important, but not with a toothbrush — gently rinsing the area two to three times a day is the way to go. To relieve pain, over-the-counter or prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be recommended. For facial swelling, applying ice is helpful.
Strenuous activity should be avoided for at least two days following a tooth extraction, since that can lead to increased bleeding and discomfort. Dentists also say to steer clear of hard, crunchy and chewy foods – and to skip drinking through straws – to minimize the risks of complications.
Is Teeth Replacement Always a Consideration after Extraction?
Actually, no – teeth replacement isn’t a must for every patient who undergoes a tooth extraction. With wisdom teeth removal, dentists don’t usually consider this extra treatment step.
When other teeth must be extracted due to advanced decay, periodontal disease, overcrowding, trauma or any dental issue, there are valid reasons for getting them replaced. With gaps in the grin, the adjacent teeth lose their support system. Plus, missing teeth can affect anyone’s self-esteem, making it harder to smile and, in some cases, creating difficulties with speaking and eating.
None of this is usually true with wisdom tooth extraction. These teeth aren’t easily visible, and dental experts tend to think of them as vestigial – we really don’t need wisdom teeth in today’s world. For this reason, San Jose dentists are unlikely to suggest teeth replacement after removing the third molars.
What are the Options for Teeth Replacement?
In San Jose, California, patients in need of teeth replacement have three options – removable partial dentures, fixed dental bridges and dental implants. While a no treatment approach is right for everyone, dental implant placement is generally considered to be the ideal solution for missing teeth.
Removable partial dentures are easy on the wallet, but they’re far from easy to maintain & clean. In addition, partials aren’t as stable as fixed bridges or dental implants. As a result, people who choose this method of teeth replacement often have trouble adjusting.
Fixed dental bridges provide greater stability than removable dentures, and taking this route to teeth replacement allows for a smile that seems more natural. However, placing a fixed bridge involves shaving down the adjacent teeth, which puts them at a greater risk of infection and decay.
Dental implants pose none of these concerns. Implants look, feel and function like they grew in place, and the placement procedure doesn’t involve the neighboring teeth in any way. Furthermore, because implants fuse with the jaw, going with this teeth replacement method helps patients avoid future bone loss. With partial dentures and fixed bridges, this isn’t the case – and unlike those options, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care.
Need More Information on Tooth Extraction or Teeth Replacement?
If you have questions we haven’t answered here, give The Glen Dental a call. Our friendly and knowledgeable team has extensive experience in the fields of general, restorative and cosmetic dentistry, and we can explain everything you need to know to make informed treatment decisions.