An extraction is the removal of a tooth and may be simple or surgical in nature. The tooth may have been decayed or damaged due to impaction, crowding, or other issues. A dentist will select the best form of treatment based on the patient’s specific needs.
Patients may need to have a tooth extracted in preparation for braces in order to achieve proper alignment. Some patients may need wisdom teeth removed to avoid overcrowding of the mouth. More severe instances of tooth damage may require a root canal before the tooth can be extracted.
What are the reasons for extraction?
One of the most common reasons people choose an extraction is because of a severely decayed or infected tooth. When a tooth suffers from significant decay, it’s no longer healthy enough to be restored with a filling or a cap. Instead, the tooth needs to be extracted, so patients don’t have to deal with the pain of an infected tooth any longer.
Another reason to extract a tooth is when a patient has a wisdom tooth that is impacted. Impaction happens when the wisdom teeth aren’t able to fully erupt from the gum line because there isn’t enough room in the jaw to accommodate them properly. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain for patients and even infection, so the teeth are pulled to prevent these issues from worsening.
If a patient has gum disease and loose teeth as a result of that condition, the teeth may need to be removed as well. Gum disease can weaken the bone and gum tissue that support teeth, so if the disease reaches a certain point, patients will have no choice but to have their teeth removed.
What happens during an extraction?
First, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. We will also administer sedation to help you stay comfortable throughout the procedure. Next, the dentist will make a small incision in the gums. Sometimes, we may need to make incisions in multiple areas, depending on the shape of the tooth roots. Then, the dentist uses tools to loosen the tooth from the sockets. Finally, once we have removed the entire tooth and root structure, the gum tissue is stitched shut.
Once the numbing wears off, you’ll probably be in quite a bit of pain. Your dentist may give you prescription pain relievers and place a temporary filling in the empty socket to protect your gums from infection. In some cases, you may need a follow-up appointment to place the permanent filling. In other cases, you may be able to have the permanent fillings on the same day as your extraction. Either way, you’ll need as many follow-up visits as you need until the area heals completely.
To find out more about the dental services offered at our dental practice, call (404) 227-5012 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 827 Blossom Hill Road, Suite E-3, San Jose, CA 95123.