Keep Your Teeth or Get Implants

Is It Better to Keep Your Teeth or Get Implants? Weighing the Options

Attempting to save a natural tooth instead of opting for a dental implant is a choice most people would go for. After all, natural teeth are very strong, being able to withstand significant amounts of bite pressure as long as they’re healthy. Of course, considering a dental implant means that a natural tooth is diseased to the point where its structural integrity is severely compromised. If you’ve sustained significant tooth decay, Pacific Dental & Implant Solutions is the best prosthodontist for dental implants in Honolulu, giving you a good option for replacing such a tooth.

Benefits of Natural Teeth

Your facial appearance and structure greatly depend on your natural teeth being in place. In addition to making tasks like chewing easier, natural teeth also contribute to facial symmetry by virtue of being anchored in the jawbone. Modern dentistry has made great strides in replacing human teeth. However, such replacements can present issues. For instance, implants carry the risk of complications like infections. A poorly-placed dental implant, either due to a dentist’s inexperience or otherwise, can prove costly in the long term.

Natural teeth contain nerve endings. These nerve endings are crucial to ensuring just the right amount of bite pressure, especially in letting an individual know how hard to bite.

All these benefits mean that all options to save a natural tooth should be exhausted before considering dental implants.

How to Save a Natural Tooth

The process of saving a natural tooth usually involves a root canal treatment. A tooth contains internal structures necessary to sustain its longevity. These structures include the dentine and pulp cavity, all of which are enclosed by the enamel, the hard substance providing the tooth with its natural appearance. Tooth decay involves bacterial action on the tooth’s surfaces, starting from the enamel as it finds its way past the pulp cavity toward the nerve endings. This is when persistent toothache sets in.

A root canal procedure aims to address this issue by removing the infected pulp and nerves, effectively “killing” the tooth. This means that there will be no more pain sensations. The pulp cavity is cleaned to ensure that no bacteria are left there. The dentist then applies a special dental sealant and places a crown to cover it all up.

While you may want to preserve your natural tooth, it’s important to remember that your final decision should be based on a dentist’s recommendation. Having examined the extent of tooth damage, the dentist will know if your tooth can be salvaged or not.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is a prosthesis that’s placed in the jawbone to replace a missing tooth. It involves surgically placing a tiny metallic anchor in the jawbone followed by a crown. Once done, the implant will have the appearance of a natural tooth.

Your dentist will present dental implants as an option in the following scenarios:

i)Extent of damage: This is the main factor that a dentist will consider before recommending dental implants. It may not make sense to attempt to save a tooth that is badly decayed. A dental implant will offer better long-term results.

  1. ii) History of root canal treatment: You may have had a root canal treatment previously. If the tooth continues to present problems, a dental implant becomes the only viable, long-term option. A major consideration for root canal treatment is the long-term health of a tooth. Root canal failure means that there is no need for repeated attempts.

iii) Comfort with minor oral surgery: Some people may not like the idea of an invasive surgical procedure, however minor it may be. For such individuals, dental implants should only be considered as a last resort.

  1. iv) Other health factors: People with chronic conditions like diabetes can have a slow healing process. Similarly, other conditions like bleeding disorders can make surgery very risky. Attempting to save a tooth by performing a root canal will always be the priority for such people.

Consult a Dentist Before Making a Decision

Under ideal circumstances, people would love to keep their natural teeth for as long as possible. Having natural teeth means a person doesn’t have to take extra precautions other than normal chewing and regular dental hygiene. However, badly decayed teeth can present issues. This can happen despite root canal treatments.

As a patient, you can only understand the full scope of a dental issue by visiting a dentist. Only after a thorough examination of your dentition can the dentist know the true extent of the problem and the appropriate treatment.

While you may want to keep your natural teeth for as long as possible, it may not always be advisable.

If you’d like to know other options, it’s best to consult a dentist like this one who does tooth extractions and dental implants in Chattanooga TN. They should be able to shed more light on your questions.