A tooth extraction is a common dental procedure that involves completely removing a tooth from its socket. This relatively quick outpatient procedure is generally performed by a general dentist or oral surgeon. If your Melbourne FL dentist has recommended a tooth extraction, here are some things you should know.
Why Teeth are Removed
Cavities and periodontal disease are among the most common causes of tooth extraction, according to an article published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. In many cases, a dentist is able to repair damaged or broken teeth with restorative options like fillings, root canals, or crowns. However, when the damage to a tooth is too severe, tooth extraction may be necessary.
Some of the most common reasons for a tooth extraction procedure include the following:
- Tooth decay or dental infection that reaches the pulp of a tooth
- Severe injury or trauma to a tooth
- Crowding in the mouth
- Baby teeth that don’t fall out in time to make room for permanent teeth
- Wisdom teeth (third molars) that become impacted
- Orthodontic treatment that requires teeth to be removed to achieve alignment
The Tooth Extraction Process
The tooth extraction process is fairly straightforward. Depending on the patient’s unique needs, sedation options may be available. Some of the most common sedation medications used in dentistry include nitrous oxide (laughing gas), intravenous (IV) sedation, and oral conscious sedation. In rare instances that involve complex surgeries, a dental provider may recommend general anesthesia in a hospital setting.
In the majority of cases, a standard tooth extraction begins with local anesthesia to numb the affected tooth and the surrounding gum tissue. However, techniques used in the extraction process can differ depending on the type of extraction.
Tooth extractions can either be simple or surgical in nature.
Simple vs. Surgical Extraction
Simple tooth extraction is recommended when a tooth is visible. Your dentist will numb the area around the tooth so that you do not feel any pain. It is normal to feel pressure during an extraction which should subside once the tooth is removed. Your dentist will loosen the tooth from the gum using an instrument referred to as an elevator. Forceps are then used to pull the tooth from the gum.
Surgical tooth extraction is often recommended when a tooth is under the surface of the gum (impacted), the tooth is severely cracked, or if the tooth is broken. Due to the complexity of these cases, stronger anesthesia may be required. The time required to perform a surgical extraction will depend on several factors, such as the patient’s oral health, the position of the tooth, the thickness of the bone surrounding the tooth, and the curvature and length of the root.
Replacing Missing Teeth
Once you have undergone a tooth extraction, you may need tooth replacement. Today, patients have several options for replacing their missing teeth. Some of the most popular solutions include:
- Dental Implants – A dental implant involves a surgical procedure in which a replacement tooth root is inserted into the jawbone where it fuses to the jaw. A crown is then placed onto the artificial tooth root.
- Dental Bridges – A dental bridge is a popular type of dental restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth. With a dental bridge, an artificial tooth supported by your natural teeth fills the gap.
Call Artistic Touch Dentistry
If you are facing an upcoming appointment for tooth extraction, you may feel uneasy about what to expect. The good news is that a tooth extraction is a fairly quick and painless procedure that can be completed in just one visit to your dentist. To learn more about tooth extractions or to speak with a member of our knowledgeable dental team, call Artistic Touch Dentistry at (321) 722-4442.