Do you have a tooth that needs to be pulled?
Teeth can end up needing to be extracted 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 extractions! 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
We’d rather not talk about bad news, but we see that too few people realize how dangerous dental infections are to the whole body. Because teeth and gums have close access to the bloodstream, the infection can spread quickly to other parts of the body if it isn’t dealt with quickly and properly. If you have an infected tooth that needs extracting, please take care of it. Waiting too long can have dangerous consequences.
Extractions: Simple or Surgical?
Unlike some general dental offices, our office is equipped to handle both simple and surgical extractions. How does that help you? First off, it saves you extra trips to the oral surgeon, which means fewer appointments, less hassle and less expense. What’s the difference between simple and surgical extractions? Simple extractions are just that, simple. These are the teeth that come out without any extra procedures. Surgical extractions require additional bone or gum work to help the tooth come out as easily as possible.
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!
In cases of deep infections or jagged tooth fractures, it can be necessary to extract the tooth immediately to stop the infection from spreading or to protect the cheeks or tongue from getting cut up. If you think that you need an emergency extraction, seek dental help immediately to minimize complications. Click here to schedule.
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 Extraction?
Hearing you need an 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 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.