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tooth extractions

Tooth Extractions

Even thinking about having a tooth extracted can set off the wince reaction in anyone.  At the very least, procrastination seems like a reasonable choice, doesn’t it? Just about the most dreaded of procedures, tooth extractions are indeed at the top of the list. We would much prefer to repair your tooth and will make every effort to repair and restore it. However, there are times when extractions become necessary.

When Do You Need a Tooth Extracted?

  • Severe Tooth Damage/Trauma: If your tooth has suffered extensive decay or gotten damaged, or you have serious gum disease, the tooth may need to be extracted. When there’s gum disease involved, repair is not possible. When there is advanced gum disease your tooth gets less and less support from the surrounding tissue and bone, until there is no other solution except for extraction. We would then replace the tooth or teeth with a bridge or implant.
  • Useless or Poorly Positioned Teeth: If you have teeth that are mal-aligned or don’t have a opposing tooth to bite against, your dentist may want to avoid future complications by removing the tooth or teeth.
  • Orthodontic Treatment: Sometimes getting braces may require some tooth extraction to make needed room for improved teeth alignment.
  • Extra Teeth: Also referred to as supernumerary teeth, extra teeth may block other teeth from erupting.
  • Infection: At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth and jaw at risk of decay, so your doctor may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant.
  • Baby Tooth Extractions: Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt.
  • Wisdom Tooth Extractions: Wisdom teeth are molars at the back of your mouth. They usually appear in your late teens or early 20’s and may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room or poor angle, often forward towards the front of your mouth. They are therefore often removed before they are fully developed and problems develop like creating decay in adjacent teeth, bite interference or gum disease.

Types of Tooth Extractions

There are two types of tooth extractions:

  • Simple Extractions: When the teeth needing extraction are visible in your mouth, we will do a simple extraction usually under a local anesthetic.
  • Surgical Extractions: When the tooth or teeth can’t easily be seen or reached in the mouth, either because they have broken off at the gum line or they have not fully erupted, we may do a surgery that can involve bone removal, removing and/or lifting and folding back all or part of the gum tissue to expose the tooth, or breaking the tooth into pieces (called tooth sectioning). Yikes. But don’t worry. Surgical extractions can be done with local anesthesia and/or conscious sedation. Also, for patients with special medical conditions and young children, we may use a general anesthesia.

Preparing for Your Tooth Extraction

Prior to a tooth extraction, there are many things to discuss with your dentist including your entire medical history and any medications you are taking. We will also review with you your dental xrays and go over any need for antibiotics due to a weakened immune system or your age.

After the extraction, we will give you detailed instructions for care and probably will prescribe a pain killer. Healing should take 5-7 days. Be sure to tell us any and all of your concerns and we will talk everything over with you. Learn more here.