Why might I need to have a tooth extraction?
Occasionally, tooth extraction is necessary due to decay, disease, trauma, or overcrowding. Our dentist will recommend an extraction (pulling) of a tooth as a last resort because it is always preferable to keep or save a natural tooth. Reasons for extraction include:
Infection - If tooth decay or damage extends deep into the center of the tooth, bacteria in the mouth can enter and lead to infection. Usually, this can be treated with root canal therapy, but sometimes the infection is so severe that a root canal or antibiotics will not cure it.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease – If gum disease has caused the loosening of the teeth it may be necessary to pull the teeth. Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth.
Tooth crowding – Sometimes a tooth is pulled to prepare the mouth for braces (orthodontia). There may be extra teeth that block other teeth from coming in, as is the case when a baby tooth doesn’t fall out in time to create room for the permanent teeth to come in.
Wisdom teeth – Also called the third molars, they are the most frequently removed teeth and extraction can be done before or after they erupt. These teeth are the last permanent teeth to appear in the mouth. Some people never develop wisdom teeth, and some have no problems if they erupt normally. They need to be removed if they are decayed, cause pain or an infection, come in at the wrong angle, or if they are trapped (impacted) in your jawbone or gums and they cannot properly erupt. Normally if you need wisdom teeth extractions, they are usually all done at the same time.
Tooth Injury – Sometimes a tooth is fractured or broken so badly that restoration to the tooth is not an option.
What to expect with tooth extraction
At Cambridge Dentistry, we will take an X-ray to determine the best plan to remove a tooth. If you are having wisdom teeth removed you may have a panoramic X-ray, which will take a picture of all of your teeth at once. X-rays can show several things to aid in the extraction process including the relationship of the tooth to be extracted with surrounding teeth, your upper teeth’s relationship to your sinuses, and the lower teeth’s relationship to a nerve in the jawbone called the inferior alveolar nerve. This nerve gives feeling to your lower jaw, lower teeth, lip, and chin.
Occasionally, you may be prescribed antibiotics to take before or after the surgery. Medication prescription depends on your specific medical conditions including if you have an infection at the time of surgery or have a weakened immune system or an artificial joint.
Tooth extractions can be simple procedures, especially if the extracted tooth fully emerges, or it can be more complicated if the tooth has not erupted, as is the case with some wisdom teeth. Depending on your circumstances and how many teeth are pulled you may be given local anesthesia to numb the area or a stronger general anesthetic.
If the tooth is impacted, we will surgically cut away gum and bone tissue that cover the tooth and use forceps to grasp the tooth, gently rocking it back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone and the ligaments holding it in place.
Following the extraction, you will be sent home with post-operative instructions to recover, which typically takes a few days.
For a consultation, please contact Cambridge Dentistry for an appointment. We have offices conveniently located on Dundas and Franklin Plaza (519) 622-3199 or Westgate Plaza (519) 623-2400.