Why Do You Need an Extraction?
Damaged teeth need to be treated. When you have a damaged tooth, we do everything we can to save it. However, there are times when saving the tooth may not be possible:
|•||Your tooth has experienced severe damage. Teeth that have been cracked or chipped can usually be restored with dental crowns. However, if the damage extends below the gum line, crowns cannot provide the protection the affected tooth needs.
|•||Significant decay. While cavities can usually be restored with fillings, large cavities, or multiple cavities in the same tooth, can compromise the tooth (and filling them can put them at risk for shattering).
|•||An impacted tooth. An impacted tooth is one that cannot emerge properly through the gums. These teeth can cause infections or potentially damage adjacent teeth. While a common issue with wisdom teeth, any tooth can be impacted.
|•||Overcrowding. When your teeth are overcrowded, it can throw off your bite. This can lead to bruxism (grinding and clenching) and severe jaw pain. Typically, overcrowding is treated with orthodontics. An extraction can help to create the space necessary to properly align your teeth.|
What Happens When You Don’t Extract a Compromised Tooth?
When your tooth is damaged, or otherwise compromised, it is essential to seek treatment right away. Not extracting a severely damaged tooth can have serious consequences for your oral, and overall, health. Damaged teeth can lead to painful, and dangerous, infections. Bacteria can enter your bloodstream, which can lead to health issues such as heart disease and stroke. The damage caused by impacted teeth can also lead to infections as well as cysts. While we do everything possible to save damaged teeth, there are some instances in which extraction is unavoidable. By putting off an extraction, your health and your quality of life can suffer.
Wisdom teeth are typically the third molars within the mouth. Not everyone has them, and some people even have a fourth set of molars. Usually, the angle at which wisdom teeth are set to enter the jaw will not work. Even if the angle often works there simply isn’t enough space in the mouth to accommodate them. In these cases, we will perform a routine surgery to remove the molars. As with any surgery, our goal is your comfort. We have a variety of sedation options that will allow you to relax and rest while the wisdom tooth removal procedure takes place. We will make an incision to remove the molars, and once extracted, we will suture the sites closed.
After the procedure is through making sure not to use straws and, if you are a smoker, refrain from smoking. Sucking with your mouth can cause a condition known as “dry socket,” where air is allowed under the healing tissue. This can result in an infection.
Extracting Your Tooth
There are two different types of extractions. The first is known as a simple extraction. This type is typically done under a local anesthetic. The affected tooth is gripped and moved back and forth, widening the periodontal ligament. When the ligament is wide enough, the tooth is simply lifted out. The other type of extraction is a surgical extraction. This type of extraction is done under local anesthetic, but sedation may also be used. A surgical extraction is usually necessary for removing wisdom teeth. Incisions are made in the gums, exposing the root of the tooth and the surrounding jawbone. Next, the tooth is removed. This may involve the removal of some of the surrounding jawbone. If the tooth is shattered, every piece is carefully removed. In some instances, the tooth may need to be broken and removed in segments. Once the tooth is removed, the socket is cleaned, and the wound sutured closed.
When you have a damaged or impacted tooth, it is important to treat it as soon as possible. In the instance that the tooth cannot be treated, an extraction may be required. For more information, or to schedule your consultation, contact Hoffman Dental today at (503) 648-7700.