Extractions & Wisdom Teeth Removal
Extractions and Wisdom Teeth Removal
When tooth extraction is needed
Generally, we recommend treatments that will save teeth, but when a tooth is so damaged that it cannot be saved, extraction is the best choice.
Extraction might be best for-
- teeth that are fractured below the gumline.
- severe tooth decay.
- advanced periodontal disease.
- primary teeth that are too crowded or not falling out properly.
- an impacted wisdom tooth.
Before we start the extraction procedure, we may offer nitrous oxide to relax you, and we’ll numb the area with anesthetic to keep you comfortable. After several minutes, we check the area to make sure that it’s completely numb. During the procedure, you’ll feel pressure when the tooth is removed, but you shouldn’t feel any pain at all. If you do, we’ll stop and give you more anesthetic.
If the tooth hasn’t yet come in through the gums, we’ll start by making a small incision. To remove the tooth, we’ll use an instrument called an elevator, which is placed next to your tooth and is used to gently loosen it. Then, we use forceps to grip the tooth carefully and remove it.
Sometimes, if your tooth’s roots are curved or are held tightly in the socket, it’s helpful to cut the tooth into sections before removing them. If an incision was necessary, we may close it with a couple of stitches once the tooth is removed.
Taking care of yourself after the extraction
To minimize problems after your tooth is removed, you’ll need to follow our post-operative instructions carefully, especially for the first 24 hours. These instructions will explain how to control bleeding, how to relieve pain and minimize swelling, how to prevent dry socket, and what to eat and not eat.
Extracting wisdom teeth
For many people, the best treatment for wisdom teeth is to remove them. This treatment helps prevent future dental problems and maintain a healthy mouth and smile.
Wisdom teeth can cause problems
Your last molars, called the third molars or wisdom teeth, typically begin to come in (erupt) during the late teens or early twenties. When they don’t have room to grow in properly, they are considered impacted. This can cause serious problems:
- A very painful infection, called pericoronitis, can affect a partially erupted wisdom tooth and the surrounding gums. This infection can spread into the face and jaw.
- When a wisdom tooth tries to erupt at an angle, it can cause decay in the neighboring tooth. This happens because wisdom teeth are nearly impossible to keep free of plaque, and the area between the two teeth becomes a trap for the bacteria in plaque that cause tooth decay.
- Additional bacteria in plaque cause periodontal (gum) disease, which may start near the wisdom teeth and spread throughout the mouth.
- A fluid-filled sac called a cyst may develop around an impacted tooth. A cyst can destroy a great deal of bone in the jaw before it’s noticed.
Diagnosis and treatment
To determine if extracting wisdom teeth is right for your situation, we’ll do a thorough examination, which typically includes x-rays.
It’s often better to remove wisdom teeth early, while their roots are still small, even before the teeth have come in through the gums. This allows for easier removal, fewer complications, and faster healing.