Did you know dental extractions are the most common surgical procedure in the United States?
Tooth extractions may be necessary due to gum disease, injury, or infection. Sometimes teeth are removed due to crowding, where there is not enough room in the mouth for all the teeth to prepare for braces or after wisdom teeth erupt.
At Platinum Dental, we first will do everything possible to preserve and restore damaged teeth, but extractions may be needed in some cases.
Reasons why we would recommend extracting a tooth
A primary (baby) tooth is over-retained, severely decayed, or damaged.
In most cases, we will work to save a primary tooth. However, there are occasions when it is in the patient’s best interest to perform tooth extractions. This could be due to extended retention of the primary tooth, which can crowd and damage the permanent teeth trying to come in. Additionally, if the primary tooth is so decayed that it is beyond repair or if it has been damaged, a dental extraction may be recommended.
A permanent tooth that has become infected and is deemed non-restorable.
Normal tooth decay can often be treated with a simple filling. However, if the decay has progressed to the tooth’s root or if the tooth has become infected, a root canal may be necessary. If the root canal is unsuccessful or the tooth infection has spread farther, extractions and dental implants may be recommended to prevent further damage.
A permanent tooth is damaged or fractured beyond repair.
Typically, a chipped, cracked, or fractured tooth can be repaired with a sealant or a crown. However, tooth extraction may be the only option if the damage is too extensive to the tooth or the root.
Gum disease has significantly compromised the tooth’s supporting tissues.
If plaque and tartar are not removed regularly, they can harden and turn into calculus. This will irritate the gums and cause them to become inflamed – a condition known as gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease, an infection of the tissue that supports the tooth. In advanced stages, this can lead to bone and tooth loss. If the tooth cannot be saved, tooth extraction may be necessary to preserve the oral health of the remaining adjacent teeth.
Wisdom teeth are poorly positioned, impacted, or decayed.
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth – typically between ages 17 and 25. Because they are the last teeth to come in, there is often not enough room in the mouth for them. This can cause them to become impacted or trapped beneath the gum tissue. Additionally, they are so far back in the mouth that they can be challenging to keep clean and are more susceptible to decay. If they are not causing any problems, we may just monitor them. However, tooth extraction may be recommended if they are impacted or decayed.
Teeth are overcrowded and causing alignment issues.
If there is not enough room in the mouth for all teeth, they will become crowded. This can cause issues with alignment and make it difficult to clean the teeth properly. In some cases, we may be able to correct the crowding with braces or other orthodontic treatments. However, if the crowding is severe, extraction may be necessary.
Tooth Extraction Process
The tooth extraction process will vary depending on the individual case. In some instances, the tooth may be able to be removed with a simple extraction. However, if the tooth is impacted or severely decayed, it may need to be extracted surgically. Local or general anesthesia can be used for most dental procedures, depending on the severity of the damaged tooth and the level of the patient’s dental anxiety.
Simple Dental Extraction
A simple extraction is a standard tooth extraction that is typically performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth and where the root anatomy is not hooked or fused to the bone tissue. The procedure is simple – the dentist will apply local anesthesia around the affected tooth and the adjacent remaining teeth, loosen the affected tooth with an instrument called an elevator, and then remove the tooth with forceps.
Surgical Dental Extraction
A surgical extraction is performed by oral surgeons on teeth that are impacted and have not erupted through the gum line, ankylosed, or severely broken. Surgical extractions may also be necessary if the tooth root has fused to the bone or if the root anatomy is extensively hooked. The procedure requires the dentist to expose the tooth by making an incision in the gum tissue, which allows them to loosen and remove it completely.
After having a tooth extracted, it is crucial to take care of the extraction site to promote healing. According to the American Dental Association, for at least the first 24 hours after the procedure, you should avoid drinking from a straw, spitting excessively, or any other behavior that causes suction in your mouth to prevent a dry socket or blood clot from forming. You should also avoid rinsing your mouth vigorously, smoking, or drinking alcohol.
It is normal to experience some bleeding after the procedure, so be sure to use gauze as directed by your dentist. You may experience some swelling and discomfort, which can be controlled using ice packs placed on the outside of your cheek for 20 minutes at a time. Your dentist may also prescribe pain medication – be sure to take it as directed. If you experience severe pain after the dental procedure, contact the dentist immediately.
Tooth Extractions in New Jersey
If you need a tooth extraction, the team at Platinum Dental Group can help. We will work with you to determine the best course of treatment and make sure that you are comfortable throughout the entire process. We have several locations for your convenience throughout New Jersey, so contact us today to schedule a consultation.