At Lifeworks Dental, our main focus is towards restoring and saving every tooth. This is because we believe that your own natural teeth have no match, and they must be preserved at all costs. However, extraction of teeth may still be required in a few cases. Tooth extraction is a procedure in which a natural tooth is surgically removed from its socket within the jaw bone.
When are Teeth Extractions Required?
At Lifeworks Dental, we may recommend tooth extraction in the following cases:
- Grossly Infected Teeth – teeth which have become irreversibly infected and there is no hope for their survival, must be extracted to prevent the neighboring teeth from infection/ cavities. Emergency extraction of teeth may sometimes need to be carried out if they become fractured as a result of trauma, and they cannot be restored.
- Impacted Teeth – teeth are said to have been impacted if they are completely or partially embedded within the jaw bone, and are unable to erupt into normal occlusion. The soft tissues surround the impacted teeth frequently get inflamed and cause significant pain and discomfort. In these cases, our dentists recommend the extraction of these impacted teeth. Wisdom teeth are among the most common ones to get impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth must be removed to prevent damage to the surrounding teeth.
- Retained Primary Teeth – milk (baby) teeth usually start getting replaced with permanent ones around the age of 6-7 years. If a tooth does not come out at the normal time, it is said to have been retained. Retained teeth prevent the underlying permanent teeth from erupting at all, or they may force them to erupt at unusual places. Therefore, retained milk teeth should be extracted if they are preventing the normal eruption of their permanent successors.
- Supernumerary Teeth – extra, or supernumerary teeth can cause a lot of problems, including difficulty in eating, speech, and maintenance of oral hygiene as well as compromised facial esthetics due to crowding. It is, therefore, advisable to get the supernumerary teeth extracted, especially if they are causing functional or aesthetic problems.
- For Correction of Teeth Crowding – crowding of teeth occurs when there is insufficient space in the jaws for accommodating the eruption of all teeth in perfect occlusion. To treat overcrowding of teeth, one or two teeth are extracted from each jaw (depending upon the requirement of space), and the remaining teeth are moved into alignment by using teeth braces or Invisalign clear aligners.
- Teeth coming in the Line of Radiation – some people need radiation therapy for the treatment of cancers in the oral region. Any teeth which come in the line of radiation must be extracted as they cannot survive afterward.
What is the Procedure for Teeth Extraction at Lifeworks Dental?
If our dentists, Dr. Kini Tran and Dr. Kim Nguyen have made a decision that they need to extract one or more of your teeth, we will give you an appointment on a suitable day. Before extracting your teeth, our oral surgeons may prescribe some blood tests to ensure that you are fit for undergoing tooth extraction. Make sure that you inform us beforehand if you have any medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure or any blood clotting problems which can affect the outcome of your surgery.
- Anesthesia Administration – dental extraction is a surgical procedure. Therefore, it must be carried out under the effect of local anesthesia. This is done to make sure that you are relaxed and completely pain-free before we begin the procedure.
- Making the teeth Mobile – the first step in tooth extraction is the removal of attachments between the bony socket and the gums. This is gently done by using an elevator. Afterward, another elevator is used very gently in a lever action to make the tooth mobile within its socket.
- Removing the Tooth – once the tooth has become sufficiently mobile, forceps which are specifically designed for extracting each tooth, and used to firmly grasp the tooth crown. The tooth is then extracted by carefully applying sideways forces while keeping a constant outward pressure.
- Securing the Socket – once the tooth has been extracted, the socket is thoroughly cleaned to remove any debris, followed by squeezing the socket with thumb pressure to shape it back. Finally, a cotton gauze is inserted into the socket, and you will be asked to bite firmly over it. This is done to control bleeding and promote blood clot formation.
You should take care of the following things after the extraction of a tooth:
- Eating Soft Diet – you must not eat from the side where the tooth was extracted. Doing so may dislodge the blood clot and delay healing. Also, you should also avoid eating hard or sticky foods which can damage the surgical site.
- Avoid Spitting – spitting can also result in the dislodgement of the clot, which is necessary for healing and bone formation. Therefore, it should be avoided during the healing period.
- Optimal Oral Hygiene Maintenance – oral hygiene maintenance has a direct influence on the rate of healing. However, you should avoid using excessive brushing force around the surgical site.
Tooth Replacement Following Dental Extraction
It is necessary that you not to leave the extraction site empty, as it can lead to movement of the neighboring teeth and create gaps. Also, the opposing tooth can also slide downwards into the empty space. Therefore, as soon as the extraction site has healed, you should get an artificial tooth to cover the empty space. This will not only restore esthetics but also improve speech and eat capability. Our Memorial Area Dentists, Dr. Tran, and Dr. Nguyen will guide you about the best option for replacing your missing teeth.