Extractions are Sometimes Unavoidable for Teeth Beyond Repair
Simply put, an extraction is the removal of a tooth. Usually, it is advisable to retain your natural teeth as long as possible. However, if a tooth is damaged or infected beyond repair, it should be removed to avoid spreading infection to other areas of your mouth and putting you at risk for serious health problems.
Reasons for tooth extraction
There are many cases when it is necessary to remove a tooth or even multiple teeth. If you have significant infection or damage to your teeth, extraction may be the only reasonable option to reduce pain and promote healing. Teeth may need to be extracted if they are:
- Broken, cracked or have extensive decay
- Have advanced gum disease
- Overcrowding in the mouth
- Extensively damaged by face or mouth trauma
- Necessary to remove to prepare for orthodontic work
What to expect
First, we will perform a through examination (including x-rays) to make sure that extraction is the best option for you. In some cases, we can perform simple extractions in our office. Otherwise, we will recommend an oral surgeon to perform your work. To avoid complications and fight infection, we may recommend that you take an antibiotic before having oral surgery.
Most extractions only require a few simple steps:
- Numb the tooth with an injection of anesthesia
- Expand the socket with specialized dental tools so the tooth becomes loose
- Pull the tooth out
Sometimes, the dental injection will cause some pain, but not always. You may feel some pressure during the extraction, but you should not feel any pain. If you do feel pain, you should let us know so that we can administer more anesthetic to make you more comfortable.
You might hear a snap or breaking noise during a tooth extraction, but don’t worry—this is normal. Tooth roots can break off in the socket during an extraction, but we have the appropriate tools to tease out and remove broken roots. Also, the brittle bone around the tooth root may fracture during removal. When this happens, it is usually only a small, hairline fracture that heals easily.
After your tooth has been removed, we will close the extraction site. This may include:
- Removing debris or infected tissue
- Recompressing the expanded socket
- Checking sinuses
- Rounding off bone edges
- Cleaning out the socket
- Stitching the area (if necessary)
- Applying gauze (with pressure) to the extraction site
Most extractions are completed using these simple steps and can be expected to heal easily. More complicated extractions (referred to as “surgical extractions”) will require a visit to an oral surgeon.
We will do a comprehensive oral examination and recommend the appropriate treatment for any painful or problematic teeth.