Surgical Dentistry in Albuquerque
As much as we believe in prevention, there are times when we must intervene to treat a condition. We believe in treating you like family – which means a gentle touch and going to great lengths to take care of you and keep you comfortable, especially if we need to perform a surgery.
We try our best to save all teeth, but sometimes an extraction is indicated. Teeth are lost due to severe decay or infection, fractures, bone loss or crowding. We will discuss with you what the implications are over time of losing a tooth, and we will work with you to find a replacement option.
In the center of each of our teeth is a canal space that houses the “pulp” or nerve tissue of the tooth. As stimuli approach the pulp – whether decay, cracks, fillings, or as teeth wear down over time – the pulp is more likely to become inflamed. If the inflammation is irreversible, you may experience a toothache, or sometimes the tooth dies and an infection follows. Root canal therapy is a way we can clean out that canal space, fill and seal it, and allow you to keep a tooth that would otherwise have to be removed.
Use it or lose it! That is the philosophy of the bones in our jaw. If a tooth is removed, the bone will no longer be stimulated and will start to resorb and shrink away. Depending on the plan to replace the missing tooth, we may recommend adding bone to the site of an extraction to help preserve the bone that is there, or to add bone that has already been resorbed.
Third molars, or ‘wisdom teeth’, are the furthest back teeth in our mouths. Sometimes they erupt into the mouth as do the rest of the teeth, and sometimes they are impacted. If these third molars are causing problems for you now, or we anticipate future problems, we may recommend their removal. This is a case-by-case decision and our doctors can evaluate you to see if yours should be removed.
Scaling and Root Planing
When we evaluate your periodontal (or gum/bone) health, we measure the gum tissue around your teeth. Shallow measurements indicate health, and deeper ones indicate inflammation or active bone loss. Scaling and root planing, also called a ‘deep cleaning’, is a treatment for active bone loss that allows us to clean out those deeper areas under the gums with the goal of returning those tissues to health.
When there are areas of active bone loss in the jaw, and more conservative treatments have not halted its progress, we may recommend periodontal (or gum/bone) surgery to treat the area. There are different surgical options to treat the various conditions, and our doctors can discuss these options with you if you have an area that has not responded well to scaling and root planing.