Most dentists will try to save your teeth or tooth rather than extract it, but if there is no saving the tooth or if it is making your other teeth unhealthy or crooked, it may need to be pulled. This is most common for children who may need their teeth pulled so their permanent teeth may grow with out being impeded. However, it is not uncommon for an adult patient to have a tooth extraction if they are affecting their dental health such as wisdom teeth. When teeth are deemed to be unrestorable because of tooth decay, periodontal disease or dental trauma they are normally extracted.
There Are 2 Types of Extraction
The “Simple” extraction
Normally a simple extraction procedure is used when teeth are easily visible. The dentist will use a local anesthetic, with or without anti-anxiety medications or sedation, to numb the area, then use a tool called the elevator to elevate the tooth and loosen it, then a tool called dental forceps will be used to actually pull the tooth out. Often you will not feel a thing, it will amaze you when the dentist tells you, you are done.
The “Surgical” extraction
Often resorted to if the tooth or teeth are not easily accessed and removed. The tooth is broken off at the gum line and cannot be gotten a hold of by the dental forceps, one that is impacted and covered by the gum, or one that has not grown through the gum line. There are a couple different ways of giving anesthesia for this kind of extraction, conscious sedation or very strong local anesthetics, most oral surgeons or dentists will use a very strong local anesthetic that will basically numb your whole face. Then the surgeon will cut away the gum to expose the tooth or break the tooth into pieces, called tooth sectioning, to extract the tooth. People with medical conditions or young children will require a general anesthesia, this is rare, but it can be used. Again, you will not feel a thing during the procedure, but may have some discomfort once the anesthetic wears off.
What are some causes of needing a tooth or teeth extracted?
Below are listed in order the most common reasons for tooth extraction.
- Severe Tooth Trauma or Damage: Teeth which have extensive decay and damage (broken or cracked) and repairing is not possible. In many cases teeth affected by periodontal disease (advanced gum disease) could possibly need to be pulled. As periodontal disease worsens, the tooth which is supported by less surrounding bone often loosens to such an extent that tooth extraction is the only solution.
- Mal-positioned or Non-functioning Teeth: To avoid future anticipated problems which may have a negative impact on oral health, your dentist may recommend removing teeth that are severely crooked and/or are in effect useless, teeth that have on opposing teeth to to bite against
- Wisdom Teeth: Wisdom teeth removal is one of the more common categories of tooth extraction. Many dentists will recommend removing wisdom teeth before they are fully developed (usually in the adolescent years) to eliminate potential problems in the future.
- Orthodontic Treatment: Tooth extraction may be needed in orthodontic procedures to make room for other teeth to straighten.
- Extra Teeth: Also known as to as supernumerary teeth, extra teeth may block other teeth from coming in. This often happens when there is a small jaw line and the teeth have over crowding.
- Radiation: Head and neck radiation therapy may require the pulling of teeth in the field of radiation in order to help avoid potential problems, such as infection.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy weakens the immune system, increasing the risk of tooth infections, enhancing the risk of extraction.
One of the main things to remember if in fact you do need a tooth extracted is to follow your dentist/oral surgeon’s instructions as close as possible after the procedure. If you do not, it could result in serious pain afterwards and/or further procedures which will need to be taken. The dentist or oral surgeon goes to great lengths to keep it painless for you, keep it that way by following their instructions afterwards.
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