Occasionally, preserving your smile’s overall health and integrity will call for a tooth extraction – the removal of one or more teeth. This is usually the last resort in dentistry, as keeping the tooth in the mouth is ideal. However, if tooth extraction is needed, the procedure can be relatively a simple one.
How do I know if I need a tooth extraction?
If you find yourself in pain because of a tooth, it’s possible that the tooth is severely decayed or an infection is present and it will need to be removed. The removal of the tooth will almost immediately alleviate discomfort. However, the only way to know for sure whether a tooth extraction is needed is to schedule an exam and X-ray. Once we have all the necessary information, we can make an informed decision about your situation.
Why might I need a tooth extraction?
There are many reasons why single or multiple teeth would need to be extracted:
Deep Decay – The most common reason for tooth extraction is when a tooth is no longer restorable. This happens when decay affects the surface of a tooth as well as the pulp and no other procedure can save the limited healthy tooth structure that still exists.
Extra Teeth – Although not as common, some patients need teeth extracted to provide enough space for teeth to realign. Extra teeth can take up space, causing nearby teeth to twist out of place.
Gum Disease – When the gums and underlying bone become severely eroded, they are not able to hold a tooth securely. This area can lead to infections and become sore. Removing teeth from these areas can prevent additional tooth loss.
Other reasons for tooth extraction may be fractured teeth, prior to braces, and planning for full mouth reconstruction.
How is the procedure performed?
Depending on what teeth are being extracted, the procedure can be simple in nature or involve more complex processes. After numbing the area around the tooth, and offering any additional sedation, instruments are used to elevate the tooth and then sever the periodontal ligament. The tooth is then carefully removed. When more complex procedures are needed, an incision may be made in the gum tissue. In some cases, a simple bone graft procedure may be recommended in order to preserve enough bone for future replacement of the tooth.
What happens afterwards?
Once the tooth has been removed, it is possible that the tooth next to it will begin to move out of alignment. Because of this, it is best to replace your missing tooth as soon as possible. We’ll help you find a solution that fits your long-term smile and budget.