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. Unfortunately, there are situations in which teeth simply cannot be saved. Some common reasons for extraction include:
- Advanced periodontal disease where bone support is so severe that the tooth becomes loose or infected
- Extra teeth or baby teeth that impede adult teeth
- Removing a fractured or malformed tooth that can’t be restored
- Severe tooth decay rendering the tooth non-restorable
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Wisdom teeth that are inaccessible for home care and hygiene
- Preparing a patient for orthodontic treatment – this is not as common today. Expansion of the arch is usually preferable to extraction.
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 twist out of alignment to fill the space.
How is a tooth extracted?
Tooth extractions are incredibly common procedures. It should be reiterated that an extraction is used as a procedure of last resort, when nothing more can be done to save the tooth.
Digital x-rays are taken to help plan the extraction. You will be given a local anaesthetic to make sure you are comfortable during the procedure. Next, the dentist will use a tool called an elevator to lift the tooth and loosen ligaments and gum tissue around the base of the tooth. Finally, the dentist will use a pair of forceps, to gently rock the tooth back and forth until it breaks free of the ligaments holding it in the gum tissue. If the tooth is impacted or breaks, the tooth may need to be broken up into smaller pieces for removal.
Once removed, we will place gauze over the socket and have you place pressure on the area by biting down. Sutures are usually not necessary but will be placed if needed.
We work closely with dedicated oral surgeons in cases where extractions are more complicated.
All Services are Provided by a General Dentist