Having a tooth removed is not an ideal option for anyone. At Lawhead Family Dentistry, we understand that the decision to extract a tooth is a difficult and sensitive one. We want to make sure your tooth extraction experience is as comfortable as possible and produces the results that help you maintain your optimal oral health.

Reasons For Tooth Extraction

Having to have a tooth extracted may be the end result of various ailments or issues. In some cases, tooth extraction may be an immediate and unplanned fix to a dental emergency.

  • Infection: When the inside of the tooth becomes infected, it can cause severe pain and discomfort. This infection can be caused by damage or decay to the tooth. One solution for an infected tooth is a root canal procedure, which addresses the infection while preserving the natural tooth. There are times when the root canal procedure is not able to manage the infection, or cannot be performed because the tooth is not restorable. In these situations, a tooth extraction is required.
  • Trauma: When oral accidents or injuries happen, your dentist will do their best to maintain your natural tooth and repair the damage inflicted. If your dentist decides that none of the alternative treatment options are feasible solutions for the tooth/teeth involved, an extraction procedure may be the next necessary step to prevent further damage.
  • Gum Disease: Gum disease is another cause of tooth loss. When the gum disease is not controlled and progresses, it can cause the gums to slowly pull away from the teeth and result in bone loss. Over time due to this bone loss, the teeth may become loose. If the gum disease is severe enough that the tooth cannot be saved and is causing symptoms, then extraction may be necessary to alleviate pain.

Planned Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Beyond needing a tooth extraction for infected teeth or dental emergencies, it may be necessary to have wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom teeth are permanent teeth that do not grow in until an individual reaches their late teens or twenties. Not all wisdom teeth need to be extracted. If there is room for these third molars to erupt normally, tooth extraction may not be necessary. In most cases, wisdom teeth do not grow in straight, and start to push on the neighboring teeth. This can potentially lead to issues with misalignment.

Wisdom teeth can be extracted once they are fully developed, as well as when they are still underneath the gum line. However, these teeth can be difficult to keep clean and therefore are more susceptible to infection later in adult life. When to have these teeth extracted is a decision that should be made with your dentist/ oral surgeon.

Tooth Extraction Procedure

Having a tooth removed can range from a simple extraction to a more invasive surgical procedure. The complexity of the surgery will depend completely on the location of the wisdom tooth(teeth) in relation to the surrounding tissues. Whether your tooth will result in quick and simple extraction or need surgery, your dentist or oral surgeon will walk you through every step in advance so you feel prepared and comfortable with the procedure ahead.

Simple Procedure

If a tooth above the gum line has become infected or is damaged beyond repair, it may need to be removed. First, the dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area surrounding the tooth. After the anesthetic has set in, a tool called an elevator will be used to help loosen the tooth from the socket and surrounding tissues. Once the tooth is mobile, the dentist will remove it from the socket. Throughout this procedure the dentist will proceed at a pace you are comfortable with and make sure that you are not in pain.

Surgical Procedure

For more complicated procedures where the tooth is not completely accessible above the gum line a surgical tooth extraction may be required. During this procedure the dentist will need to make an incision into the gums and move them away from the bone in order to access and remove the tooth. Sometimes, a procedure called alveoloplasty is performed during these types of extractions that involves re-shape the bone around the socket and smoothing sharp spots so that they are not uncomfortable when the site heals. Following the extraction(s), stitches are placed in the area of the gums that were raised to allow proper healing of this tissues.

If you have been told that you may need to have a tooth removed or are concerned about a sore and infected tooth, schedule an appointment at Lawhead Family Dentistry today. We want to help make sure your tooth extraction experience is safe and comfortable as possible.