In some instances, the damage or decay on your tooth is too extensive for your dentist to be able to repair it. In these instances, we will need to remove your tooth in a process called tooth extraction. This does not always require oral surgery, but it could, depending on the visibility of your tooth. Oral & Facial Surgery details the two types of tooth extraction procedures.
Why Teeth Are Extracted
Tooth extraction could be necessary for a variety of reasons, such as extensive decay or damage, overcrowding, and impacted teeth. Extensive tooth decay often results from chronic gum disease that has not been properly treated. This disease causes the breakdown of your teeth and can spread bacteria to the bloodstream if not removed. Overcrowding is painful, affects your ability to properly clean your teeth, and causes cosmetic concern. Impacted teeth are those that have not erupted out of your gum or those that have only partially erupted out of your gum. Wisdom teeth are usually impacted, which is why they are often removed. Injuries could also be serious enough that the tooth is damaged beyond repair.
How Teeth Are Extracted
There are two ways to perform a tooth extraction. A simple extraction is a process in which we can simply remove your tooth using forceps. This can happen if we see the tooth above the gum and neither it nor the surrounding tissue needs to be cut. The tooth is manipulated with a dental elevator until it loosens, and it is then removed with forceps.
Surgical extraction requires our oral & maxillofacial surgeon to incise the gum so that the tooth can be accessed. The tooth could also require sectioning or cutting it into smaller pieces and removing them individually. We use a dental instrument to cut through bone. We then use forceps to remove the tooth or tooth fragments.
For a simple or surgical extraction, anesthesia options will be thoroughly discussed. Some extractions require stitches. Often these are self-dissolving. If you need to return to remove stitches, we will set that up for you. Gauze is provided for aftercare.
How to Recover from Tooth Extraction
Anesthesia has effects that take a few hours to disappear. You may feel numb and sleepy following the procedure. Once you can feel your gums again, it is common for it to be slightly sore over the next few days. Your gums will also swell a bit due to the trauma of the procedure. That said, cold packs and over-the-counter pain medicine are usually sufficient in treating these symptoms.
Wisdom teeth will not need to be replaced. For other teeth, we recommend you talk with your general dentist to complete a restoration plan. If you choose to do dental implants, we will work with your dentist to coordinate care.
Call Oral & Facial Surgery in the Lewiston/Clarkston region at 208-743-1640 or in the Moscow/Pullman region at 509-330-5020 to learn more about our tooth extraction procedures.