When do I need a tooth extracted?
Sometimes, decay and/or trauma has done so much damage to a tooth that removal is your only option. In cases of wisdom teeth, your dentist may even recommend extraction proactively, before active damage has been done. Often the shape and size of your jaw, the way the wisdom teeth develop and how they erupt from the gums make it impossible to keep them without increased risk of decay and damage, both to them and your other teeth.
What types of extractions are there?
There are levels of complexity when it comes to extracting a tooth, but it can be broadly separated into two categories. In our office, we perform simple extractions – teeth that can be seen in the mouth and can be removed using local anesthetic and instruments design to grab and elevate the visible portion of the tooth. We’ll then send you home with post-operative instructions for care and prescriptions for any necessary medications – you’ll want to take it easy for about 24 hours after this procedure.
Surgical extraction is necessary with teeth that cannot easily be accessed, either because they are not fully erupted or because they have broken beneath the gum line. In most of these cases an incision is required and the procedure is performed using a general anesthetic. When we recommend this type of extraction for our patients, we send them to one of a few highly trained oral surgeons that we work with in the area.