SURGICAL SOLUTIONS – TOOTH EXTRACTION
Do you have a tooth that needs to be pulled?
You may need a dental extraction for many reasons including deep decay, a nerve infection, a gum infection, a broken tooth or a lack of bone. Wisdom teeth can need pulling if they pack food, cause gum infections, damage their neighbors or crowd the other teeth. Fortunately, there’s more good news than bad news about a tooth extraction! Thanks to oral sedation, extractions are way more comfortable and way less scary than they were for our grandparents. No more dental scenes that resemble silent (or not-so-silent) films. Plus, with dental implant options available, losing a tooth no longer means stepping closer to full dentures.
The Bad News: Infections are Dangerous
Dental Extraction: Simple or Surgical?
Putting Your Safety First with a CT Scan
For complicated extraction cases, we always plan treatment with the help of a 3D CT Scan and this is a critical part of how we can help our patients get the best results possible. Knowing exactly what is under the gums and around every tooth helps prevent unwanted surprises!
Wisdom Teeth Extractions
We accept wisdom tooth extractions on a case-by-case basis. Thanks to our CT Scanning Technology, we offer detailed third molar evaluations and we complete uncomplicated cases in our office. Because our first priority is to see our patients happy and healthy, we refer complicated third molar cases out to specialists to insure that our patients get the care they need. Click here to request a third molar evaluation.
Not Sure If You actually NEED an Dental Extraction?
Hearing you need an dental extraction when you’re not sure why it’s necessary. How can you know if the tooth truly needs to come out or if it could actually be restored? Isn’t it best to keep your own teeth as long as possible?
We meet new patients all the time coming in for a second opinion and feeling frustrated that another dentist wanted to take a tooth out that the patient is pretty sure could be saved. What we’ve discovered is that about 5% of the time, there was a restorative option available that was overlooked. However, about 95% of the time, the tooth needs to be extracted and the diagnosing dentist simply didn’t take the time to adequately explain why.
It’s easy as a dentist who “does teeth” all day long every day, to forget that patients don’t “do teeth” all day long and that they need extra information in order to feel comfortable making decisions, especially about losing teeth. Dentists also have different personal guidelines about what “saving a tooth” means.
Here are my personal guidelines for when teeth should be extracted:
- If the tooth has an untreatable level of infection inside the tooth
- If the tooth has an untreatable level of infection in the surrounding gums
- If the bone around the tooth has dissolved and can’t support the tooth
- If the tooth has broken or decayed to the point that it can’t support a crown
- If the tooth has already been root canaled twice
Why these guidelines? Because I don’t believe that fixing a tooth just to have it break again in a month counts as “saving a tooth.” Every one of these scenarios could be patched, but would explode as a toothache, dangerous infection or deeper trauma within days or weeks, further risking your health. I’m not willing to put my patients’ health at risk for convenience.
If you’re not sure why your tooth “needs an dental extraction” come see me for a second opinion. We’ll take a look and a 3D-CT radiograph give you a clear explanation of what is going on either with that one tooth or in your whole mouth depending on how much you’d like to know.