• Tooth Extraction

    Tooth Extraction

    What is a tooth extraction exactly?  It is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone of your jaw.  There are two ways to extract, simple and surgical.   The simple method uses an instrument called an elevator to loosen the tooth and forceps to pull the tooth out.  A surgical extraction requires cutting into the gum to extract the tooth.  The extraction process may be necessary for a variety of reasons, some of which are listed here:

    • Broken teeth or decay-damaged teeth may need to be removed due to the extent of damage.
    • Wisdom teeth are commonly extracted teeth that are removed due to pain, decay, or infection. They may also be preventatively removed to decrease the chance for these teeth to cause crowding to the other teeth.
    • Extra teeth can also require extraction because they may be blocking other teeth from coming in properly.
    • Baby teeth may remain in their location longer than expected and will need to be removed to allow the permanent teeth to grow properly.
    • Braces may require that some teeth be pulled to make space for the teeth that need to be moved into place.
    • Radiation treatments of the head and neck areas can weaken the teeth that are in the path of the radiation and they will need to be removed.
    • Cancer treatment drugs can weaken the immune system and cause the teeth to be infected and that will require them to be pulled.

    If you require an extracted tooth, rest assured that our dental team will get you prepared for the process.  We will start by taking X-rays of the location to develop a plan for the best removal method.  We will use your dental and medical history to determine if any medicine that you are taking need to be discontinued prior to surgery.

    Since wisdom teeth are the most predominate teeth removed during extraction, we will more than likely use a panoramic X-ray to determine the exact location of your wisdom teeth in relation to your other teeth.  It can also show us the relation between your upper teeth and your sinuses.  It will also tell us the relation to the lower teeth and the nerve called the inferior alveolar nerve, which is what gives feeling to your lower jaw.

    During the extraction process you may be required to take antibiotics if you have an infection, weakened immune system, a long surgery, or specific medical conditions.  You may also have anesthesia that ranges from sedation to general anesthesia.  This process usually requires that you do not eat or drink 6-8 hours prior to the surgery.  After the surgery, someone will need to drive you home and help you care for your mouth.

    Having a tooth extracted does not have to be an unpleasant experience.  If you visit with us at our dental office, we will go over the entire process and make sure that you are aware of all the steps that will be taken.  We will ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during the procedure and that you have everything you need after the surgery to heal properly.

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