Even the loss of a single tooth can have a major impact upon your oral health and appearance so it is very important good oral hygiene should always be practiced. Although your dentist will use every measure to prevent tooth loss, there are still occasions when a tooth may need to be extracted, such as:
- Advanced periodontal disease
- Severe decay
- Infection or abscess
- Incorrectly positioned teeth
- Orthodontic correction
- Impacted teeth
- Broken teeth or roots
Extracting a tooth is the last resort after careful examination and treatment. Before a tooth is extracted, the dentist will take x-rays in order to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. In some rare cases based on the degree of difficulty of tooth extraction, we may refer you to a specialized oral surgeon.
We will first apply a local anesthetic to prevent pain and discomfort for a simple extraction. The dentist will then loosen the tooth with a tool called an elevator and then the tooth is removed with dental forceps. Upon completion of the procedure, the area may be closed with a stitch or two. You are then provided with care instructions to alleviate any discomfort and to ensure proper healing.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth are your last molars or “third molars” that develop on each side of your jaws. Wisdom teeth usually emerge through your gums between the ages of sixteen and twenty.
Wisdom teeth can be a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. However, problems can develop that require their removal. If the jaw isn’t large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted (unable to come through the gums properly or misaligned). Wisdom teeth can also grow in sideways, or emerge only part way through the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum line and bone.
Wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively routine procedure. Your dentist will numb the area of the wisdom tooth with local anesthesia or use IV sedation so you are asleep during the procedure.
After the wisdom tooth is removed, you are provided care instructions to ensure proper healing. Occasionally some pain and swelling may occur but will normally subside after a few days. Call your dentist if you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever.
Root Canal Treatment
A root canal treatment, also called endodontic therapy, is necessary when an untreated cavity reaches all the way to the tooth nerve. Treatment may also be required when deep restorations or trauma to a tooth cause nerve damage. Once the pulp becomes infected, it can begin to destroy the surrounding bone. This is known as an abscess. If the pulp is infected, not only is it painful but it will require treatment as it cannot heal on its own. Symptoms indicating the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot or cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain with biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Occasionally no symptoms are apparent and you may be unaware of any problem until a checkup.
A root canal is performed by cleaning out the infected tooth pulp and then disinfecting the canals of the tooth. An alternative to this treatment would be tooth extraction. Once the infection is removed, the canal is filled in by your dentist to prevent any further infection. Often a core build-up and a crown are recommended for restoring the affected tooth.