The Last Resort
Dental extraction, or tooth removal, is never the desired outcome for the patient or the dentist. But, there are times when this procedure is necessary. At Waters Family Dentistry, we will go over all your options. If extraction is the required or chosen procedure, we will ensure that you are pain free and as comfortable as possible. We realize the stress involved in dental extractions, and strive to keep you at ease.
Reasons for Dental Extractions
Sometimes a cavity renders a tooth “non-restorable”, which is the dental way of saying that there is so much of the tooth destroyed by the cavity that we can’t fix it. Leaving a tooth in this condition puts you at risk of further tooth breakage or infection, so it’s best to extract it. Another reason for extraction is a cracked tooth. Some cracked teeth can be restored with a crown, but sometimes the crack extends below the gums, into the root. In this case, the tooth is usually painful to bite on, and it needs to be removed. Some teeth become infected, or abscessed, for various reasons. Sometimes a root canal procedure can be performed to save an abscessed tooth, but this is also a common reason for extraction.
Extraction of Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to come in, in the back of the mouth. They typically erupt during late adolescence or the early twenties. Many wisdom teeth do not have the proper space to erupt normally into the dental arch. They can be angled, or even sideways. At times they get stuck, or impacted, in the bone. Sometimes they come in about halfway, and we call these partially erupted teeth. Sometimes this leads to pain, infection, or even damage to the molars in front of the wisdom teeth. For these reasons, we recommended wisdom teeth extractions on many young adult patients. We will check and advise you individually. Rarely, there are times when the wisdom teeth do have space to come in and can be kept.
Extraction for Orthodontics
Sometimes orthodontists recommended that a tooth or teeth be extracted to gain the necessary space to align the teeth. Typically, the teeth to be extracted in these cases are permanent premolars. Every effort is made to avoid extractions, but at times it is the only solution to the crowding of teeth.
Referral to an Oral Surgeon
Occasionally, an extraction may be more complicated or difficult than the average. Dr. Waters will assess your specific situation and may refer you to a specialist (oral surgeon) for your needs. Most wisdom tooth extractions fall into this category.