While preserving your natural teeth is often the ultimate goal of general and restorative dentistry, there are some cases when tooth extraction is the best option for getting your oral health back on track.
Feeling anxious about tooth extraction is normal, though Dr. Harris and his team are here to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and provide you with a safe and comfortable experience every step of the way.
When is tooth extraction necessary?
Reasons you or your child may need tooth extraction include:
- Severe tooth damage, instability, or decay. If a tooth is broken, loose, or diseased beyond repair, tooth extraction will prevent future complications, such as infection, and allow you to reclaim your oral health through restorative treatment options, such as a dental implant or dental bridge.
- Past-due baby teeth. Ideally, primary (baby) teeth should be left to fall out naturally. However, if a baby tooth has held on for too long and is blocking a permanent (adult) tooth from coming in properly, a tooth extraction may be recommended to promote the healthy emergence of adult teeth. We’ll help wiggle that tooth out as gently as possible.
- Orthodontic prepwork. If you or your child have severe crowding, your orthodontist may recommend tooth extraction to alleviate crowding, straighten neighboring teeth, and make space to bring your smile into a more ideal alignment.
- Wisdom teeth. Also called the third molars, wisdom teeth are often extracted in the late teens or early 20s to prevent or alleviate pain, swelling, infection, or pressure on other teeth. Wisdom teeth may be extracted before they come in, especially if the teeth are stuck in the jaw (impacted) and will not erupt naturally.
- Certain health conditions. If a health condition or medication has suppressed your immune system, extracting infected teeth can prevent complications.
Tooth Extraction Procedure
Tooth extraction is an outpatient surgical procedure that will be performed under a type of anesthetic to ensure a comfortable and relaxing experience. There are two types of tooth extractions:
Simple Extraction. A simple extraction is performed on a tooth that’s intact and readily visible. During a simple extraction, you’ll be provided with a local anesthetic. Once you’re relaxed and comfortable, Dr. Harris will use a dental instrument called an elevator to loosen the targeted tooth. Once the tooth has been loosened, Dr. Harris will use a dental instrument called forceps to remove the tooth.
Surgical Extraction. Also known as a complex extraction, a surgical extraction may be needed if a tooth is impacted (stuck below the gum line) or broken. During a surgical extraction, you’ll be made comfortable with a local anesthetic before Dr. Harris makes a small incision into your gums in order to access the targeted tooth. If needed to successfully extract the tooth, Dr. Harris will then carefully remove some bone tissue or divide the tooth in pieces to aid removal. Once the tooth has been removed, Dr. Harris will thoroughly clean the site before closing the incision with stitches.
For both simple and surgical extractions, Dr. Harris will provide you with detailed instructions to both help you prepare for a tooth extraction procedure and take care of yourself afterwards to promote optimal healing.
NTI Migraine and TMJ Treatment
Though the underlying cause for morning migraines and tension headaches can be complex or unclear, grinding or clenching the teeth, especially during sleep, is often the culprit.