| 04/26/13

Having a tooth extracted is something that most people do not look forward to, but it is a very routine procedure done daily in many dental offices. Ideally it is best to maintain natural teeth, but sometimes extractions are unavoidable. Why are teeth extracted? What is the procedure like? Can there be complications?

There are three main reasons why teeth are extracted on children. Large decay can lead to pain and infection. This is one reason why baby teeth are removed. Sometimes baby teeth refuse to come out on their own. This can cause the replacement permanent teeth to come in crowded or crooked. If your child experiences this, the dentist can intervene and remove stubborn baby teeth. Sometimes teeth have to be removed for orthodontic treatment. If there is not room in the mouth or if there are extra teeth, the Orthodontist may request that they be removed.

What about extractions on adults? Infection is a leading cause of extractions on adults. Many infections may be treated with root canal therapy, but sometimes a tooth is non-restorable due to fracture or extensive decay. In these instances an extraction is needed. Cost is also a factor for some. Extractions are less expensive than root canals, so some patients choose to remove teeth rather than save them. Another leading cause of tooth extractions is periodontal disease. This condition leads to bone and tissue loss which results in mobile or loose teeth. 3rd molars or wisdom teeth are also frequently removed for various reasons.

Before your extraction, the dentist will give you an injection of dental anesthetic. This will ensure that you’re comfortable during the procedure. You may feel pressure during the extraction, but you shouldn’t feel pain. Some teeth require surgical extractions. Teeth may be cut with a surgical headpiece and bur, and removed in sections. Sutures are sometimes used to aid in healing after an extraction. In extreme or complex cases, patients may be referred to an oral surgeon.

Avoiding Complications

After your extraction, the dental staff will give you detailed instructions on how to care for your extraction site. It is important to carefully follow these instructions to prevent excessive bleeding, dry socket, and other complications.

Missing teeth should be replaced when possible. There are several ways to replace teeth that have been extracted. These include dentures, partials, bridges, and implants. At your appointment we  will explain all of the available options, answer your questions, and help you make a decision.

Extractions are not something to fear or dread. Technological advances used by skilled practitioners make the procedure easier for the patient. Most of us will need at least one extraction at some point in our lives. We strive to make sure that your experience is as pleasant as possible.

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