Tooth extractions, or the removal of one or more teeth, are usually used as a last resort in dentistry, as keeping the natural tooth in the mouth is ideal. There are many reasons why single or multiple extractions may be performed, including pervasive tooth decay, the impaction of wisdom teeth, the need to correct tipped teeth in preparation for fixed bridgework or removable partial denture.
The most significant short-term benefit associated with tooth extraction is the elimination of pain. If a tooth is severely decayed or an infection is present, removing the affected tooth almost immediately alleviates discomfort. However, it should be noted that further procedures are necessary to replace the extracted tooth. Leaving a gap is not a viable option as the other teeth tend to drift and tip to fill in the space. Dr. Moseley recommends the placement of bone graft materials to maintain the shape of the bone in the extraction site, very important if you plan on a future dental implant.
Why might I need to have a tooth extraction?
Deep decay – This is easily the most common reason for tooth extraction, accounting for around two-thirds of all extraction procedures performed. When decay affects the surface of the tooth as well as the pulp, root canal procedures cannot be performed. In this instance extraction is then the only treatment option.
Extra teeth –There are a variety of explanations associated with extra teeth, but most commonly they are baby teeth that do not shed. Extra teeth take up space on the arch, causing nearby teeth to twist out of place. A tooth extraction is necessary in this case to provide enough space for the teeth to properly realign.
Periodontal disease – The most often reason teeth have to be extracted is because the gums and underlying bone are so severely eroded that they can no longer hold the tooth in place securely. The cause of bone and gum recession is almost always advanced periodontal bone/gum disease. Loss of supporting bone means the tooth cannot withstand normal chewing forces and therefore must be extracted.
Prior to braces – Traditional orthodontic braces require enough space for the teeth to move into ideal alignment. If space cannot be created naturally, a tooth may be extracted as an alternative.
Fractured teeth – There are some instances where the tooth has become fractured in a way that makes repair impossible. This usually occurs under an old filling that has been leaking which has allowed to decay to slowly destroy the tooth from the inside until it can no longer withstand biting forces.
How is the extraction procedure performed?
Generally, tooth extraction can be simple in nature or involve more complex surgical processes. Simple extractions are performed on fully emerged teeth after applying local anesthetic to the treatment site. Newer extraction techniques utilizing new instruments now makes extractions much more conservative than in the past.
Surgical extractions are performed on teeth that are either invisible or inaccessible, like un-erupted wisdom teeth. Dr Moseley will utilize a number of techniques to allow access the broken tooth including our Waterlase dental laser. Our laser allows for easy access as well as disinfecting the area greatly reducing your risk of infection.
If you have any questions or concerns about tooth extraction, please contact our office.
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