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Healthy teeth for life is a common maxim for all dentists who are in the profession for the purpose of changing people’s lives by creating beautiful smiles and a set of healthy teeth.

A dentist will do anything possible to prolong the life of your natural teeth. It is an intangible reward that cannot be measured. However, some teeth can be severely damaged, decayed, fractured right down to the root or have suffered some kind of trauma. These teeth cannot be saved and hence have to be extracted. So too are teeth that need extraction due to the failure of root canal treatment.

What are the reasons for teeth to be extracted?

  • A tooth, that is badly infected and cannot be treated by root canal therapy.
  • There is a risk that an infected tooth can lead to a systemic infection if a person has a compromised immune system. This would refer to someone undergoing chemotherapy, or a recipient of an organ transplant.
  • Someone who is in an advanced stage of gum disease or periodontal disease and has no other alternative but to have their teeth extracted.

What happens when a tooth is extracted?

Tooth extraction takes place under sedation. Generally it is possible to do this with a local anaesthetic in the dental chair in Point Cook (Dental Gallery), however, at times additional sedation maybe required. As soon as the tooth is extracted, you will be asked to bite on gauze to stem the bleeding.

In some cases, you will need stitches. If the place of the extracted tooth is visible, it is possible that you will be provided with a temporary replacement.

How can the socket be preserved?

Socket preservation is crucial when you consider replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant. After extraction, the socket shrinks in size and suffers irregularities in the shape of the tissue around it. To ensure that the socket is preserved a bone graft material is placed into the empty socket once the tooth is removed, to limit the bone resorption process. As healing occurs the bone graft and the barrier membrane will be resorbed into the body.

What must you do after extraction?

  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to help reduce swelling and pain
  • Avoid smoking in order to speed up the healing process
  • Avoid any physical activity as this can increase bleeding
  • Eat soft food to enable the extraction site to heal
  • Do not brush around the socket and avoid moving your tongue over it

Why should you have your teeth replaced after extraction?

All your teeth are designed to work together. If you lose one or more teeth it will affect the remaining teeth. This may not be noticeable at first.

The teeth around the area of the missing tooth will begin to shift and move their position. When this happens the teeth drift towards the empty space because they no longer meet any resistance.

Furthermore, your appearance will be altered by creating unsightly gaps in between other teeth. This can affect your bite, your ability to eat properly and even your speech. Thus replacing teeth will ensure that your natural teeth will remain firmly in place and your oral health will be protected.

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What are the options for replacement of missing teeth?

  • Dentures and partial dentures
  • Bridges
  • Dental implants (the best option because they support crowns, bridges and dentures)