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woman sitting on a dentist chair and smiling
Is your tooth damaged either due to decay or because of a dental injury? Many individuals, especially older folks, believe that after a tooth is cracked, the only option is to get an extraction and move on. Luckily, that is definitely not the case. In fact, there are multiple ways you can save your tooth, according to a dentist in Valparaiso.

The two most common methods for saving teeth include crowns and root canal therapy. In the event your tooth does need to be extracted, a dentist can help you as well.

Why Saving Teeth is the Most Ideal Option

It’s true that dentists can provide some of the most lifelike tooth replacement options out there. However, even the most natural-looking options cannot compare to the real thing. Not only are replacement teeth quite expensive, but your natural teeth are most capable of performing basic daily functions like chewing, speaking, and swallowing. Natural teeth are also generally much easier to clean than restorations.

Additionally, natural teeth don’t just keep your smile looking sharp and make eating foods easier. They’re also the most effective at functioning directly with the alveolar bone, which includes the upper and lower jawbones holding them in place. When teeth are lost, that alveolar bone is at risk of resorbing back into the body, causing the overall jaw to shrink. A smaller jaw means a weakened biting force, making your ability to chew foods more difficult the longer your tooth is missing.

How Dental Crowns and Root Canals Save Teeth

Dental crowns or caps are designed to cover weak teeth damaged by decay or dental injury. They come in many different varieties and are custom-made to fit over your damaged tooth exactly. This protects the natural tooth underneath from oral bacteria, decay, and inevitably infection.

In the event that your tooth becomes infected, there’s still time to save it. Root canal therapy works to remove infected pulp inside the tooth, fill it with antibacterial, putty-like material known as gutta-percha, and seal it with a crown on top. Even a damaged natural tooth is more valuable than a dental implant, so make sure to commit to regular oral hygiene and biannual dental visits!

When Your Tooth Needs to Be Extracted

Not all teeth can be saved, which is where dental bridges and dental implants come in. Dental bridges are restorations consisting of either three or four teeth that fit on top of existing natural teeth to fill gaps in your smile. After buffing down a small amount of enamel, the restoration will be able to fit snugly on top of your teeth and effectively rebuild your smile.

Dental implants, on the other hand, utilize a titanium post that replaces the root while a crown rests on top to replace the crown portion. Implants can also be used in tandem with bridges to prevent bone resorption, unlike traditional dental bridges.

You can keep your teeth for life if you commit to oral hygiene every day! If your tooth is damaged, schedule an appointment today to get it repaired by a dental professional!

About the Practice

Smiles of Valparaiso offers a wide variety of dental restorations to repair and/or replace teeth. Whether you need a simple porcelain crown or a complex dental implant, his office can make it happen. To learn more about his practice or many treatments, you can contact his office through his website.