Tooth or Dental Extractions

A tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone.

Before recommending an extraction, a dentist will attempt to find alternative treatments to try and save the tooth.

Extractions are performed for a variety of reasons:

  • Severe tooth decay or infection– the most common reason for extraction.
  • Extra teeth that block other teeth from coming in.
  • Periodontitis – a severe form of gum diseasethat affects the supporting tissues and bone structures of teeth. This is the most frequent reoccurring cause of tooth extractions for people over 40 years of age.
  • Abscessed tooth – a painful infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth.
  • Orthodontic – Making room in the mouth for braces.
  • Fractured teeth – vertical, diagonal or horizontal fractures of the tooth roots leaving them exposed.
  • Impacted teeth / Wisdom teeth. Impacted teeth are those that do not erupt properly to their normal position or do not erupt above the gums. Preventive wisdom teeth extraction is often performed before they can cause any problems.

Extractions are categorized as “simple” or “surgical.”

Simple extractions are performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth and when the shape of the root lends itself to easy removal. This type of tooth extraction is usually carried out with local anesthesia where the teeth to be removed together and the surrounding bone and gum tissues are numbed. Nitrous oxide may be offered for relaxation.

Surgical extractions involve the removal of teeth that cannot be easily accessed either because they have broken under the gum line or because they have not erupted fully. Surgical extractions require an incision and are usually performed under a general anesthetic with nitrous oxide for added comfort.

To minimize problems after a tooth is removed, post operative instructions are given by the dentist explaining how to control post-extraction bleeding, relieve pain and minimize swelling, prevent dry socket and what to eat and not eat.

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