When a tooth is causing severe pain, infection, tooth decay, gum disease, or damage to the other teeth but cannot be repaired, it may be better to remove and replace it. If you think you need a tooth extraction, give us a call at Bow Tie Dentist today to schedule a consultation.
A tooth extraction is a process of having a tooth professionally removed at the dentist because it is beyond repair. Your teeth are incredibly important to your oral health, facial structure, bite alignment, functionality, and smile aesthetics.
This is why the prevention of oral health problems and tooth damage is so important. Extractions should only be used as a last resort when the tooth can no longer be salvaged through restorative treatment or the presence of the tooth is actively worsening your oral health.
There are many different scenarios where this might be the case, including impaction, an infection, gum disease, severe dental trauma, overcrowding, or making room for orthodontic treatment.
A basic extraction is the simple removal of a fully erupted tooth that is visible in the gum line by loosening it with a dental elevator and removing it with forceps. This process doesn’t involve any incisions because the tooth isn’t trapped behind the gums. Since this method of tooth removal is less invasive, we also don’t need to use sutures and healing occurs relatively fast, within 3 to 4 weeks.
Our wisdom teeth are our third set of permanent molars that we no longer have any functional need for, now that our jaws have narrowed after adapting to our environment once we began cooking food. However, this doesn’t stop these teeth from erupting in our much narrower jaws.
Many of us no longer have the room to accommodate this extra set of teeth, causing them to become impacted in the gums, where they often cause oral health problems, severe tooth and jaw pain, or damage the surrounding teeth by erupting at an angle. If your wisdom teeth are causing you any problems such as pain, sinus problems, repeated infection, or damage to your other teeth, we will need to remove them.
If your wisdom teeth are impacted, they will need to be surgically removed because an incision is necessary to gain access to the hidden tooth that is trapped partially or entirely behind the gum tissue. Impacted wisdom teeth are the most likely to cause oral health problems and pain. Surgical extractions are a little more invasive because we need to make an incision before removing the tooth. You will receive stitches and take 1 to 3 months to heal completely.
Palm Harbor dentist Dr. Ramos will examine your teeth to look at the condition of your tooth to determine if an extraction will be necessary. X-rays will reveal how your teeth are sitting in the jaw and what type of extraction is necessary for removal.
We will always administer a local anesthetic before performing an extraction. This numbs your mouth so you don’t feel any pain. However, most people are uncomfortable or nervous feeling the pressure and hearing the sounds involved in an extraction procedure so you may want to receive dental sedation for your ultimate comfort.
An incision is only necessary to remove an impacted tooth. After pulling back the gums, we can gain access to the hidden tooth. However, sometimes additional bone tissue is blocking access to the tooth and also needs to be cut.
In a basic extraction, a dental elevator is used to rock the tooth back and forth in the socket to sever the ligaments until it’s completely loose. Then, we use forceps to grab hold of the tooth and lift it out of the socket. The same process is used in a surgical extraction except the tooth is also sectioned (cut into many fragments) and this makes the tooth easier to remove.
After a surgical extraction, we will suture the socket shut. In either type of extraction, the socket will be cleaned and gauze will be placed to stop the bleeding.
Your questions, answered.
There are usually alternatives to a tooth extraction unless you have a severely decayed or damaged tooth. The longer you leave oral health problems untreated, the higher your risk of needing a tooth extraction.
We will only ever advise you to get an extraction when all other options have been exhausted or if the tooth cannot be saved. If the tooth is infected, a root canal treatment is usually an option unless the infection has progressed too deep into the tooth.
Gum disease can be treated with a deep cleaning or surgical treatment but if you have a very loose tooth, it may need to be removed. Damage from dental trauma can be repaired and a broken tooth can even be held together with a dental crown but if a tooth has broken off at the gum line, the rest of the tooth will need to be removed and replaced.