Most Americans care greatly about the health of their teeth, and many of them visit the dentist regularly for checkups or other procedures. After all, a person may take great pride in his or her teeth, and discolored, crooked, or missing teeth may be embarrassing and harm a porson’s social prowess. Besides that, major tooth problems may be very painful and distressing, and no one wants to loose their teeth. Sometimes, however, it may be necessary to remove a tooth if it is infected. A dentist may remove a tooth if it is what’s known as a “wisdom tooth.” Dental implants are another common reason to visit the dentist’s office, and dental implant surgery may be done. When is it time to remove a tooth?
Major Surgery for Teeth
Sometimes, a patient at the dentist’s may need only a checkup and routine cleaning. Other times, a patient may need more invasive procedures done. A root canal is one such procedure, but a root canal is not the painful and scary procedure that some Americans expect. Rather, the affected tooth will be numbed, and the dentist will surgically remove the infected, fleshy pulp from inside the tooth. It is not necessary to remove a tooth for a root canal. This procedure instead removes the fleshy pulp inside if there is a bacterial infection. The tooth will be left in place, though it will be more fragile and will no longer feel heat or cold.
Other times, removing a tooth is indeed necessary. For example, gums may be diseased and a tooth is about to fall out anyway, so a dentist can help remove the tooth more safely. A tooth may be heavily infected, and it will be necessary to remove that tooth to contain the infection. Or, a wisdom tooth might be emerging, and this can be a problem if it is not dealt with. An adult human mouth has 28 teeth in it, but wisdom teeth are excess teeth beyond that. Their emergence threatens to cause crowding, when teeth are pushed out of position and grow in unnatural ways. It is fairly common for Americans to have a wisdom tooth attempting to emerge, so a dentist will simply numb the affected area and remove it.
Some Americans will need dental implants put in, and this is practically routine. Some three million Americans or so already have dental implants, and nearly 500,000 more get them every year. Scientific literature shows that dental implants have a success rate of 98%, something that patients may take comfort in knowing.
Some dental implants are dental bridges, which are intended to replace a single missing tooth. A replica of the missing tooth will be made, and this false tooth is anchored to overs that slip over the real teeth flanking the gap. These covers are fitted to match the patient’s teeth for a natural fit. Once a bridge is put in place, a person’s full mouth of teeth is restored, and the false tooth will look just like the real one. A related topic is dentures, which are common among the elderly. Dentures are similar in concept to bridges, except that they can replace entire rows of teeth at once. Some denture sets will replace every single tooth in the mouth, and they can be put into place and removed again as desired. Dental implants can restore a person’s smile, and allow them to eat and speak without impairment due to missing teeth.
Basic Tooth Care
Many Americans visit the dentist and take their kids there too, and in between visits, simple steps can be taken to keep teeth in good condition. Kid and adults alike should be diligent about brushing their teeth after meals, and this removes plaque and the bacteria that produce it (not to mention the sugars that the bacteria feed on). Floss removes food bits deep between the teeth, and mouthwash can remove leftover bacteria and plaque alike. Meanwhile, people are urged to not chew on hard item such ice cubes, and a person should use a mouth guard while playing sports. Sometimes, teeth might get knocked out of someone’s mouth from a sports injury, so caution should be exercise to prevent this trauma.