While there have been impressive dental advancements in recent years, nothing can beat the look, feel, and function of your natural teeth. A good dental hygiene routine and regular check-ups can help you maintain your smile for a lifetime, but what happens if your teeth need additional care due to injury, infection, or disease? Here at Accent Smile Center, we often hear from patients experiencing these types of issues. Many believe that pulling the affected tooth would be easier and more cost-effective. Let’s take a closer look at the truth about pulling a tooth vs. saving it!
Saving your natural tooth
We aim to save your tooth whenever possible. Missing teeth can cause the teeth surrounding it to shift and may affect your ability to chew properly. Tooth extraction can be uncomfortable for some patients, and replacing the missing tooth with an artificial one will require additional dental visits and upkeep.
Modern dental techniques and procedures offer several options for keeping your natural teeth. A root canal is the most common treatment for patients who wish to save an infected or injured tooth. It will generally be indicated when there is a very deep cavity, a cracked tooth, or a severe tooth injury. While the thought of a root canal makes many people cringe, it doesn’t have to be a painful or anxiety-inducing experience! Most of our patients report little to no discomfort during their root canal therapy.
This procedure is typically completed in one or two appointments, depending on the severity of the infection or injury. Our expert team is well-versed in root canal therapy, and we do our best to make the experience as comfortable as possible while working to save a patient’s tooth! We offer oral conscious sedation and NuCalm’s drug-free relaxation for those who need or want extra help remaining stress-free during their root canal.
How does a root canal work?
Once the canal has been sterilized, cleaned, and shaped, it is filled with a special material that seals the root. We use a tooth-colored buildup restoration to boost the core strength of the remaining tooth structure. A post may also be inserted at this time to provide additional support.
Going to all this effort to save the natural tooth then neglecting to cover it with a crown would be counterproductive! People who opt out of a porcelain crown after a root canal tend to require reconstruction within a short amount of time due to the biting forces on their teeth weakening the filling. This often results in a chipped or cracked tooth. Bacteria can also reinfect the tooth and cause further decay if the tooth is not sealed with a final crown restoration.
We provide root canal patients with a customized porcelain crown that fits over the tooth to strengthen it for long-term support and function. This approach not only saves your tooth but gives you a seamless smile that looks and functions beautifully!
If there is a large or very deep area of decay, severe trauma, or periodontal bone loss, we may not be able to restore the tooth. When tooth extraction is recommended, we can help make the process comfortable and pain-free by using laser technology to aid us in the extraction process. This provides patients with reduced postoperative discomfort, quicker clotting, and less harm to the tissue and surrounding bone.
During a tooth extraction, the tooth and gum tissue are anesthetized before the tooth is loosened and removed with dental forceps. A surgical extraction may be necessary if a tooth has broken off at the gum line. Although oral surgeons usually perform these extractions, some general dentists can also perform them. With a surgical extraction, a small cut will be made in the gum in order to remove the underlying tooth.
After we extract a tooth due to trauma, bone loss, or extensive decay, we’ll need to restore the bone to its natural form. Bone grafts help to minimize bone loss and maintain bone support for adjacent teeth and future implant sites. The grafting material is donated from a tissue donor that has undergone rigorous testing to ensure quality and safety. Sterile techniques help prevent contamination when the procedure is performed. Clinical studies have shown the graft method to have an excellent safety record!
Keep calm and smile with sedation dentistry
Does the thought of enduring a root canal or tooth extraction fill you with dread? You’re not alone! Many people have anxiety about dental visits and procedures. If you struggle with this, sedation dentistry could be just what you need to restore your smile.
We want you to feel calm and confident before, during, and after a procedure with us. Dr. Gatgens has been providing oral conscious sedation to patients since 2008 and has received many continuing education hours in sedation training. He is also ACLS trained, ensuring a safe sedation process by following the correct protocol with each patient.
Our practice generally uses oral conscious sedation. This allows you to communicate with us, follow instructions, and cooperate with our team throughout the procedure. We offer the following methods of sedation:
Nitrous oxide, also referred to as laughing gas. This is a mild sedative that is very safe and commonly used in dental patients of all ages.
NuCalm relaxation dentistry, a drug-free alternative to traditional sedation methods. NuCalm can also be used in conjunction with these methods since there’s no interaction with the drugs.
IV sedation, for patients who have a dental phobia, complex medical histories, a need for major dental treatment, or physical, psychological, or emotional special needs. Our practice is working on partnering with a sedation team who can come in and help us manage procedures that require this option!
Find the best choice for your teeth at Accent Smile Center
Here at Accent Smile Center, we know that dental procedures of any kind can be overwhelming. This is especially true if you’re dealing with a complex case or one that requires a significant amount of work. That’s why we provide patients with a welcoming office, caring team, and dental expertise you can trust! We work hard to give you a positive experience no matter what treatment you need.
If you’re in Dickson or the surrounding area and need help with an infected or injured tooth, get in touch today! We’ll be happy to schedule an appointment and help you take the first steps toward restoring your natural smile.