At East Lyme Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery we perform quite a few tooth extractions every year and it is one of the most common procedures we face. Extractions are a last resort when a tooth cannot be saved, and there are plenty of reasons why a tooth can get to this point. We will be going over some examples as well as explaining how the tooth extraction process works.
Why Do Teeth Need To Be Removed?
There are many reasons why a tooth may need to be extracted. It can range from dental trauma that has caused a severely broken tooth, crowding, or decay that has reached late stages.
Blows to the mouth, unfortunately, are a common occurrence and sometimes the damage can be severe enough to where the tooth is beyond saving with procedures such as bonding, a root canal, and crown installation.
Infections are one of the more common reasons why a tooth is extracted. Usually, a decayed tooth is able to be saved even when it reaches the pulp. However, if the damage is too severe then it is unable to be filled and saved with a crown. In addition to this, an infection can kill a tooth leaving it unusable.
Sometimes, a tooth can erupt in such a way that it crowds the area around it. This can create problems such as bad bite, discomfort, speech problems, and difficulty chewing. Braces can fix this if the alignment isn’t too off, but extraction is the best option if the situation is severe enough to affect daily life.
Teeth That Have Not Erupted Fully (impacted)
Sometimes a tooth has not erupted all the way which is a problem when it comes to cleanliness. It will also prevent you from replacing the tooth with implants or bridges until it gets extracted. Wisdom teeth are more likely to suffer from this problem than your general adult teeth.
What Is It Like To Have a Tooth Extracted?
Tooth extraction is a procedure that is completely painless for the patient due to anesthesia (numbing) treatment. It sounds like a horrific to go through at first, but we can assure you that all you will feel is pressure as the tooth is being removed during the procedure.
For a general extraction, the tooth will be rocked back and forth using a tool known as an elevator. This will loosen the tooth for easy extraction using forceps. Afterward, there may be some bleeding that is stopped by having you bite down gently on gauze.
For surgical extraction when it comes to impacted teeth - you’ll typically be “put to sleep” using general anesthesia depending on the complexity of the procedure. You won’t experience the surgery itself if this is done. However, when you wake up you’ll be drowsy and more unaware of your surroundings which is why you should have someone that is able to take you home.
The procedure itself involves an incision being made to the area to access the tooth and surrounding bone, which is removed as needed while the tooth is being pulled out either all at once or in steps. Once it has been successfully removed the area is stitched back together. There will be a recovery period after extraction and it is important to follow the instructions given so that you will properly heal. At East Lyme Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery we want the best for you and if you have any questions for us or are experiencing problems, you can call our office at (860) 934-7809.