Tooth loss is not a fun thing to experience. Fortunately, we are well versed in tooth extraction and replacement, so we are the perfect practice to return your mouth to a state of complete health. There are a few different ways that a tooth might end up needing extraction. Our primary concern is to make sure that you understand the series of events that lead to your tooth needing to be removed and the safe removal of the tooth.
When will a tooth need to be extracted?
There are a few different reasons that you might need a tooth to be removed, the most common of which is impaction. Wisdom teeth are extremely common, and most people do not have enough room in their mouth for their wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth often come in at inappropriate angles that make them a danger to other teeth and structures in the mouth. Wisdom teeth are the most commonly impacted teeth, followed by canines.
Other reasons that you might need a tooth extraction include extreme decay, and physical trauma resulting in damage so serious that it cannot be repaired. One of the biggest dangers to teeth is a total lack of oral hygiene. Neglecting to brush and floss for long periods can result in both bone and soft tissue loss that can cause many teeth to experience serious decay.
The Extraction Procedure
There are two kinds of tooth extractions, simple and surgical. Simple tooth extractions can be accomplished when we can see and work with the crown of the tooth. The most common simple extraction situations usually involve decay. Surgical extractions must be performed when part or all of the tooth is still below the gumline. The most common surgical extraction situation is an impacted tooth.
Simple Tooth Extractions
A simple extraction is performed when we can grip the tooth using a special tool. This tool is called an “elevator”. As the name suggests, simple extractions are fairly straightforward. We just grip the crown of the tooth with the elevator and rock it back and forth very gently. The rocking motion loosens the tooth, and eventually, we can just pull the tooth free of your mouth. Once the tooth has been extracted, we will suture the site closed and pack it with gauze.
Surgical Tooth Extractions
When a tooth is partially or fully below the gumline, we will need to perform a surgical extraction to remove it. Surgical extractions require us to make an incision in the gumline to access the tooth. Once we have access to the tooth, we can remove it a few different ways. Once we have removed the tooth we will suture the site close and use gauze to soak up any bleeding that is taking place.
We will always provide our patients with post-procedure instructions when necessary. As a general rule, never make a sucking motion with your mouth or use a straw after a tooth extraction. Sucking can cause the clot to dislodge from the site and can easily lead to serious infection.