Why do I need a tooth extraction?
- Severe decay that has poor prognosis if restored
- Severe decay that cannot be restored
- Severe periodontal (gum) disease
- Infection caused by dental abscess
- Fractured tooth root that is not restorable
- Irreparable damage from trauma to teeth
- Impacted wisdom teeth causing infection, discomfort, or damage to adjacent bone or teeth
- For orthodontic treatment
- To allow dentures or implants to be fitted
- Over retained baby/primary teeth to allow eruption of adult/permanent teeth
- Certain medical reasons
How are teeth removed?
When it is determined that a tooth needs to be removed, our office may extract it during a regular checkup or schedule another visit for this procedure. The root of each tooth is encased within your jawbone in a "tooth socket," and your tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, a dentist must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament that holds it in place.
While this procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share with us any concerns or preferences for sedation. Teeth removal can be simple or surgical.
Simple or routine extractions are usually straightforward. The procedure is performed under local anesthetic. Sedation may be used for extremely anxious patients.
Once the patient is numb in the area, we will carefully loosen the tooth/teeth and remove it from the socket. After removal, the socket is rinsed, and if root was infected, the infection will be curetted to ensure good healing.
Our team may use a bone graft and a barrier membrane to help heal the socket and preserve bone. Finally, sutures may be placed to secure the gum tissue and stabilize the clot, which is essential for healing.
If we determine you need surgical extraction in addition to the above, bone removal and manipulation may be needed.
What happens after tooth/teeth is extracted?
Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift, which can cause problems with chewing or your jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, we may recommend you replace the extracted tooth.
What are Wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last molar in our mouth that may or may not develop and erupt fully. They are also called the third molar. Most common problems with wisdom tooth/teeth develop when they have not enough space in the jaw and become impacted, which leads to damage to adjacent bone and teeth, pain, and infection.
Why do I have to get my wisdom tooth/teeth extracted?
Wisdom teeth may be fully erupted, partially erupted, or impacted.
Fully erupted: Most of the time we will decide to leave it alone, unless it is decayed or its position is causing damage to adjacent health structures.
Partially erupted: This is when only part of the wisdom tooth is exposed in the oral cavity and the rest is covered with gum tissue and bone. Depending on the angle of the tooth, age of patient, and proximity to other structures, our team may recommend to extract your wisdom tooth to avoid damage to adjacent teeth, or for orthodontic treatment.
Completely impacted: This is when a wisdom tooth is completely under the gum tissue and/or inside the jaw bone. Depending on your age, and the proximity to adjacent teeth, nerves, or other structures, we may decide either to extract if related to any pathology or prospective risks, or just monitor it.
Fillings or minor dental restorations
What is a dental cavity?
Tooth decay is also called cavity. Decay of a tooth is like decaying wood. Once a tooth starts to decay, the only way to stop its progress is to remove the decayed part and fill/restore it with a filling/restoration.
If left untreated, the small cavity/decay will progress from the enamel to dentin and ultimately to the pulp of the tooth, which has nerves and blood vessels. A cavity in the enamel typically does not present with any pain or symptoms.
Once it reaches the dentin, which has some nerve endings, you may feel some mild-to-moderate pain or sensitivity. If the cavity reaches the pulp and gets left untreated for a long time, it will lead to necrosis and a dental abscess, which can be extremely damaging, and in rare cases a fatality has been reported.
How to know if you have a cavity?
Initial cavities show no symptoms and are usually discovered by a dentist on routine exams with appropriate X-rays. Some cavities show up as tiny or large dark spots, which can be seen with an intraoral camera or with naked eyes.
Early cavities are usually painless. If left unchecked, they can grow severe and will invade the dentin or pulp, which is when the pain/discomfort shows up.
Other symptoms may include increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks. If you find yourself feeling pain when you take a sip of cold water, for example, your teeth may need some attention.
How to treat a cavity or tooth decay?
If you catch the problem in the early stages, before the enamel layer has been fully eroded, our office may be able to remove the infected tooth structure and replace it with a small filling. If left unchecked, or if decay is extensive, you may require a crown with or without a root canal.