Extractions involve the complete removal of a tooth from its socket, mostly in the case of damaged or decayed teeth. They are performed by a professional dentist in a dental office under the influence of local anesthesia to numb the tissues from pain.
Dentists always try to save the natural tissues of the mouth rather than completely removing them. Initially, we try to restore the damaged or decayed tooth using tooth restoratives such as crowns, fillings, veneers, etc. But, when the tooth is beyond any form of restoration, it will have to be removed to save the patient from a whole lot of pain.
When are tooth extractions required?
Broken and chipped teeth: Whenever you sustain an external injury, a bad fall, or a sports-related injury to the mouth, the teeth may get cracked, or even a small fragment of a tooth may get chipped. This leaves the pulp exposed to the bacteria in the mouth, which increases the chances of developing root canal infection. Hence, we try to restore such teeth using crowns, veneers, or composite bonding techniques. If these treatment methods fail, we will have to extract the entire tooth.
Decayed tooth: Cavities occur due to the erosion of the enamel by the acids released by microbes in the mouth. If the cavity is small in size and still restorable, we use a suitable filling material or an inlay to treat it. But, when the cavity is too big to restore, we suggest you get the tooth extracted to avoid suffering a root canal infection.
Impacted wisdom teeth: Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to emerge. In some cases, they do not emerge freely and tend to get stuck or impacted in between the gums and jawbone. This is quite a painful condition and can lead to infection if the tooth is left as is. We would remove the impacted tooth through surgery and seal off the wound to prevent the entry of microbes.
Extractions would also be required when you have crowded teeth and need more space for the teeth to move during orthodontic treatment. The dentist usually extracts the molars on either side of the jaw during this. When a child’s milk teeth refuse to fall off, we remove such teeth to prevent permanent teeth from emerging in a deviated position.
How is an extraction performed?
During the initial diagnosis, we determine the severity of the condition and decide whether or not an extraction would be required. Since the procedure can be painful, we administer local anesthesia to numb the tooth, gums, and jawbone. Once the tissues are numbed, the tooth will be held tightly using forceps and shaken to loosen it from the socket. After it has loosened enough, we would pull out the entire tooth, including the root structure. No pain would be felt during this process.
In case the extraction is complicated, the dentist sections the tooth into smaller fragments and removes them one after the other. After removing the tooth, you will be asked to bite into a piece of gauze to stop the bleeding and form a clot. Aftercare instructions will be given to facilitate the healing of the wound. During this, eating or drinking anything too hot or spicy should be avoided. Also, you must brush the teeth with caution to prevent the clot from being dislodged.
Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (408) 371-1070 to have a consultation with any of our Los Gatos Dental Group dentists, and we will be happy to help!