Ideal and Un-Ideal Extractions

November 2006

By: Dr. Scott R. Harden

Somewhere between the conscious state of awareness and the sub-conscious hold on our restful dreamstate, the mind transitions into a initiates a transition when first awakening in the morning is the flickering

There are “ideal” reasons to remove teeth and “un-ideal” reasons to remove teeth. “Ideal” reasons for removing teeth include primary “baby” teeth, premolar teeth for orthodontics, or wisdom teeth. “Un-ideal” reasons to removing teeth include decay, abscess or fracture that deems a tooth non-restorable, and creates an undesirable space or gap. The space may exist between two remaining teeth or may be at the back of your mouth because the last tooth was removed.

It is quite common for people to have one or more teeth extracted. The old sayings, “time heals of all wounds” or “out of sight, out of mind” could not be more incorrect than after “un-ideal” extractions because of the space that follows. Actually, the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, applies to this scenario best. When you loose a tooth that you are supposed to have for chewing, you are figuratively speaking — “broke”. The best choice is to fix it by replacing it with a new tooth. On the other hand, ignoring this space can often result in harmful effects to your teeth, your jaw joint, or both.

A common scenario is grandpa goes through the week wearing either no teeth or his upper denture only. It was rare to see him with his full set of teeth unless he put in his Sunday-go-to-meetin’ teeth for church. His face would transform from the gaunt appearance of caved in cheeks and sunk in lips to a man that looked much healthier. The only problem was because he didn’t wear the dentures all the time, his speech was garbled and his teeth moved when he spoke. As a grandchild, you didn’t care. As his wife, it was old Charlie – just the way he was. As his child, you might have been embarrassed that he didn’t put on a better show in front of friends of the family.

Today’s dental patient is much more demanding of how dentures look and feel. Denture teeth were extremely white, opaque and unnatural looking. They were may of porcelain and clacked together when people ate. The force of the porcelain striking each other would destroy the supportive bony ridge and lead to a very debilitating condition for patients.

Teeth were inadvertently extracted without great regards for saving the teeth. Unlike today where surgical measures are incorporated to preserve the bony ridge, the ridge was often lost following surgery leaving little to subsequently hold the patients denture.

Poor techniques factor that greatly benefits patients and incorporates the principles of modern technology and engineering.