When you come to the dentist with a dental emergency, their first goal is to save your natural tooth. You only get two sets of them in your lifetime, after all – baby teeth and adult teeth. So it makes sense to try to keep the ones that you have safe and secure in your mouth. That can’t always be the situation, though. Sometimes the tooth or teeth have to go.
It’s not an easy decision, but you may wonder what the criteria is for the dentist to decide to recommend extraction over tooth-saving measures? When does it go from pondering to actually doing?
Types of Extractions
Your dentist or specialist may have to do either a simple extraction or a surgical one. When it’s a simple one, the dentist or specialist uses forceps to remove the tooth. This is if the tooth is visible above the gumline and there is no tooth waiting under it. Surgically, bone and gum tissue are removed and the area is stitched up to ensure proper healing. Whether it’s removed in one piece or in multiple pieces hinges on the condition and location of the problem tooth or teeth.
First of all, the dentist or specialist will thoroughly examine your mouth. That will happen in any of the cases listed in this post. X-Rays will be taken to determine the state of the teeth and whether it can be saved. Only after that will they proceed.
Wisdom teeth are ones that lie dormant in the mouth and then tend to come up when someone is in their late teens or so. They are vestiges of teeth that ancient man used when they ate a much rougher diet. Now there is not room in the mouth.. and the wisdom teeth need to be extracted. It’s usually a simple same-day treatment and patients just need to watch what they eat and drink for a day or two – no smoking or drinking from a straw. They can use ice to keep down swelling… and life resumes as normal pretty quickly.
This is along the same lines as wisdom teeth. It can also be an orthodontist who does it since there may be too many teeth in the mouth and that will prevent braces or Invisaligners from getting the results that they want. So they remove the necessary tooth or teeth and then that will open up space for every other tooth to turn and align properly as they shift when the braces are tightened or a new Invisalign mouthguard is put in.
When teeth become loose because of gum disease that has progressed well beyond gingivitis into periodontitis, then it’s important that those teeth go, because the area will need antibiotics to help it heal. Bacteria can travel into the bloodstream and cause or contribute to other conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even arthritis. Leaving the teeth alone would exacerbate the situation.
There are a variant of ways something can happen to your teeth – a wayward throw during a baseball game, someone’s elbow hitting your mouth in a basketball game… or even your tripping and hitting your mouth on a table. All of these things can loosen your teeth or shatter them. Then they have to be extracted.
As you can see, there are many reasons for dentists to go this route. If it is deemed necessary, then something will have to fill the empty space, barring the orthodontic necessity of the extraction. Your dentist may recommend replacement options like bridges, dentures, or dental implants. You will have to see what fits your situation best.
While it can be sad to lose a natural tooth, you will find that the whole procedure can go pretty smoothly. Don’t wait too long though – see a dentist if there’s an emergency.
When it comes to tooth extractions, Dr. Robert M. Trager at JFK-LGA Dentist is an expert. Here can quickly recognize what needs to be done and then perform the procedure with minimal pain and discomfort. Give him a call at 718-656-4747 to make an appointment.