General dentists are motivated to save their patients teeth above all else. When a patient presents with tooth damage, the first thing a dentist will attempt to do is restore the structure and health to the tooth or teeth through treatments such as filling, inlays, or crowns.
Unfortunately, these types of restorative procedures are not always possible. Sometimes, a tooth is damaged beyond repair and the only treatment option is to remove the unhealthy tooth.
However, damage is not the only reason one would undergo a tooth extraction. Here are some other common reasons extractions may be advised.
Some teeth are simply nonfunctional, meaning they have no purpose in assisting with chewing; but instead pose a risk of becoming damaged or causing irritation.
1. Some teeth are extracted because they are not positioned correctly (malpositioned). Wisdom teeth are a good example of malpositioned teeth. Often when wisdom teeth come in, they lie in a position that causes constant irritation.
2. Orthodontists will often advise extraction of strategically located teeth before beginning treatment with braces. Overcrowding is one common cause of misalignment of teeth. Before an orthodontist can create a nice, straight smile, it may be necessary to create some space in the mouth by removing teeth.
3. For tooth extraction, North & South Carolina dentists are highly trained to provide you with the greatest degree of care and comfort. Our wisdom tooth extraction North & South Carolina practice is geared to comfort patients in this time of elevated stress. We want our patients to feel as comfortable as possible with their advised treatment, and therefore want to explain as thoroughly as possible the specifics of extractions.
There is more than one type of tooth extraction. North & South Carolina patients can feel confident understanding the following information:
A simple extraction can be done with local anesthesia and light sedation if the patient so desires. This type of extraction is performed by a general dentist on a tooth that can be seen in the mouth.
During a simple extraction, the patient feels nothing, as the local anesthetic given is strong and will last throughout the entire procedure. Typically, a simple extraction takes just a few moments, and patients can distract their minds by listening to music through earphones if they would like.
A surgical extraction is typically performed by an oral surgeon because this type involves teeth that cannot be seen easily in the mouth. Surgical extractions may be performed on teeth that have broken off at the gum line or teeth that have not have come in yet.
To see and remove the tooth, the dentist or oral surgeon must cut and pull back the gums to allow access to the tooth below the gums. Although a surgical extraction will also make use of local anesthesia, a patient may also take advantage of sedation. Some patients are fine with the use of nitrous oxide, under which they remain conscious; other patients prefer to use IV sedation, which will put them into a monitored sleep state.
During this procedure, with either form of sedation, the patient receives care without any pain whatsoever. For wisdom tooth extraction, North & South Carolina dentists in our practice ensure the comfort of their patients through adequate monitoring and state-of-the-art technology.
The best plan of action is to maintain regular check-ups. In this way, you can improve your chances of avoiding extractions due to tooth decay. However, if you experience a broken or cracked tooth, or have pain which could indicate the growth of wisdom teeth, it is advisable to make an appointment with your dentist to explore treatment options. Extractions should not frighten the dental patient who has informed themselves of the procedure and understands that pain is not a part of the extraction process.