There are many things you must do on a daily and regular basis in order to protect your oral health, structure, function and comfort. And while it may not be ideal to have a tooth entirely removed from your mouth, the fact is that this is sometimes the best way to protect or restore your oral health.
Where a tooth has been damaged by injury or decay, your dentist will first consider every possible restorative option available to you–including a dental filling, an inlay, an onlay, a crown or some other similar treatment. Unfortunately, there are some instances where the damage or decay is just too extensive to successfully repair, or where a tooth’s complete removal is best for the health of the rest of the mouth. When this occurs, a simple tooth extraction may be the best option.
The Extraction Process
Simple tooth extraction involves removing the entire tooth and root from its socket in the bone. Following are just a few of the reasons for why this may be necessary:
- The tooth is a baby tooth that is blocking permanent adult teeth from coming in properly.
- The tooth is responsible for over-crowding in the mouth and this creates issues with structure, function and comfort.
- The tooth needs to be removed in order to create room for other teeth that are going to be moved or straightened with orthodontic appliances.
- The tooth is a wisdom tooth that is not coming in properly, is impacted or is decayed or painful.
- The tooth has sustained extensive damage that cannot be effectively repaired through other restorative dental treatments.
- The tooth is decayed beyond the point where it could be successfully salvaged.
Once your dentist has done a preliminary examination and has determined that a tooth extraction is necessary, they will then take an x-ray of the tooth and the specific area of your mouth that is affected. This will help them to determine whether a simple extraction is appropriate, or a surgical extraction is warranted. The primary difference between these two extraction procedures is the fact that a simple extraction can usually be performed on a tooth that has a good amount of stable tooth structure above the gum as well as straight roots, and can therefore be easily loosened and extracted. Teeth that do not have a stable (or any) tooth structure above the gum, are broken or have twisted roots will need to be removed through the more complex surgical extraction procedure.
When your dentist has determined that a simple tooth extraction will be workable, she will administer local anesthesia to help numb the area around the tooth and make the extraction process pain-free and as comfortable as possible. She will then use a dental instrument called an elevator in order to loosen the tooth in its socket, and forceps to remove the tooth from the mouth. A piece of gauze will be placed over the extraction site and you will be asked to bite down on it for approximately twenty to thirty minutes in order to help the blood to clot and the area begin the healing process.
It is not unusual to experience some discomfort after a simple tooth extraction. Your dentist, Dr. Best, will provide you with important follow-up instructions that can help to make the healing process as smooth and comfortable as possible. This may include the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, as well as ice packs to help reduce swelling. You will want to stick to cool, soft foods for several days, and avoid smoking, spitting or using a straw for the first few days after the extraction. You may be advised to gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water starting one full day after surgery in order to help keep the area clean without irritating the extraction site.
If you have any questions or concerns about the simple tooth extraction procedure and whether it may be necessary in order to handle a troublesome tooth in your mouth, contact our office today.