Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry is committed to helping you maintain pristine oral health and a beautiful smile. We offer some preventive and restorative services to best suit your individual needs. In some cases, we may recommend a tooth extraction as the best possible solution to a dental problem. Tooth extraction is a relatively straightforward procedure that involves the removal of a tooth from the socket in the alveolar bone.
Why Do We Extract Teeth?
Before an extraction, our dentists will try to fix the tooth with a filling, dental bonding, crown, or other restoration. Most extractions are the result of a broken or badly damaged tooth that is beyond repair.
The most common reasons for a tooth extraction include:
- Extensive tooth decay or infection.
- Gum disease that affects the supportive tissues and bone structures.
- Fractured or broken teeth.
- Extra teeth that prevent other teeth from erupting properly.
- The delayed loss of baby or primary teeth.
- To make way for a restoration, such as full or partial denture, implant, or bridge.
- Malformed teeth that make it difficult to chew or speak.
- Wisdom teeth, or third molars, erupt during the late teens or early 20s. These teeth can become impacted, irritate the gums and surrounding teeth, and cause pain or swelling. They are frequently extracted before they come in.
- Patients receiving cancer drugs or undergoing radiation treatment may need some teeth extracted if they become a source of infection.
- Patients undergoing orthodontic treatment may need an extraction to move other teeth into the proper position.
To determine if extraction is necessary, our dentists will take an x-ray of the area and review your full medical and dental history. Once we have devised a suitable treatment plan, we can move forward with the procedure.
There are two types of extractions:
- Simple extraction—During a simple extraction, our dentists will use an elevator to loosen the tooth from the socket, by gently rocking it back and forth. Once the tooth has broken away from the ligaments and bone, we will use forceps to remove it. A simple extraction is considered a minor procedure that only requires the use of local anesthetic.
- Surgical extraction—During a surgical extraction, our dentists will make a small incision in the gum tissue to remove a tooth that has broken off at the gumline, or not yet erupted. We may need to break the tooth into smaller pieces to extract it. For most surgical extractions, we use local anesthetic in combination with some form of sedation.
Regardless of which procedure you receive, you can expect to feel some pressure, but no pain. If you feel any pain, please let our dentists know immediately.
After an Extraction
After your extraction, our dentists will give you a set of detailed follow-up instructions. You may experience some minor discomfort or pain in the days immediately following the procedure. We recommend over-the-counter drugs, such as ibuprofen, to minimize pain. We also recommend soft and cool foods for the first few days. You can broaden your diet as you see fit. If you have any questions after your extraction, be sure to contact Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry.