Tooth Extraction? What Questions to Ask Now?
Have you recently had a tooth extraction? I am happy to help you come up with a couple good questions that you should ask your dentist to be better informed when making treatment decisions. Teeth and their roots support the tissue so when a tooth is lost it is very important to support the tissue so that it does not collapse. This is especially important for a front tooth where the tissue is on display when talking and smiling! Your dentist may plan to do a site preservation graft to help prevent bone collapse following the extraction. Depending on the situation, the dentist should be making you some type of custom temporary crown or treatment bridge or an interim partial denture (flipper) to maintain the space where the tooth was.
The best questions to ask before and after a tooth extraction are the following:
- Do the adjacent teeth need restorations? If the answer to this is yes, then doing a permanent bridge may be the best option. Depending on the amount of healing that will change the shape of the extraction site, a bridge may be able to be done very soon after the extraction and you could eliminate the additional cost of an interim partial.
- Is the bone in the area of the tooth extraction healthy enough for an implant?
- Will bone grafting or tissue grafting be necessary for an optimal result with either an implant or a bridge?
- What is the prognosis for an implant long term in your mouth in this area given the health of the supporting structures, adjacent teeth and your bite (occlusion) as well as habits?
- If an implant is planned, a custom fabricated abutment and treatment will give you the best result for an anterior tooth to support the gum tissue as it heals, while a prefabricated abutment may be fine for a posterior tooth.
- If a bridge is planned instead of an implant find out if the teeth adjacent to the extraction site are healthy enough to be a supporting tooth for a bridge and what is the prognosis of doing this?
Ideally, these questions are asked and answered before the tooth extraction so a good plan is in place to have the most successful outcome! In our office we will spend the time needed to thoroughly review your options so you can made decisions that will be correct for you now and in the future! Keep in mind that whenever a bridge is done if anything happens to any one of the teeth supporting the bridge, an entire new bridge may be needed to correct the problem. With an implant and a crown your future problems are one tooth problems.
I hope this information is useful! Yours for better dental health,
Julie Gillis DDS
Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health