A dental extraction is a procedure in which your dentist removes a tooth from your mouth. There are many circumstances that can lead to having a tooth extracted, including decay that has destroyed too much of the tooth’s structure to be repaired with a filling or crown and gum disease that has damaged the bone supporting the tooth.
Your dentist may also recommend an extraction if your tooth is impacted—meaning that it is unable to break through the gums because it is stuck below the gum line–and can’t be corrected with braces or another type of oral appliance. If your teeth are decayed or damaged beyond repair, you may benefit from getting these teeth removed. Removing them can help to prevent other complications such as infection and help to improve your overall dental health.
A tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the jawbone. The tooth may have been broken, or may have decayed so much that there is no other option than to remove it. Other reasons for the need for a dental extraction include crowding of the teeth, impacted wisdom teeth, and infections that spread to the jaw bone. While an extraction is not a common procedure, there are times where it is necessary. Any infection or trauma to the roots of a tooth can eventually lead to an infection in surrounding bone and tissue if not treated right away. When this happens, a dentist will usually suggest a tooth extraction. An infected tooth needs to be removed before it can spread the infection to other teeth and the bone surrounding the mouth.
An infected tooth can be extremely painful and will need to be extracted as soon as possible. Once it is no longer possible to save an infected tooth, an extraction will be performed to prevent the spread of infection to the rest of the mouth. Teeth that have been fractured or broken will often need to be removed in order to avoid further breakage and other complications. In other cases, teeth may need to be extracted when overcrowding occurs in the mouth. If teeth are crooked or overlapped, it may cause the teeth to become loose and fall out. When this occurs, your dentist may recommend having a dental extraction. For some patients, their wisdom teeth will begin to erupt through the gums and cause pain and discomfort. Wisdom teeth may often be extracted in order to prevent the misalignment of the rest of the mouth. In some cases, patients are in a position where all their teeth are unable to fit properly within the jaw structure. This can lead to certain types of malocclusion and severely limit a patient’s ability to chew and speak normally. In these cases, it may be recommended that the patient has all of their teeth removed and replaced with dentures or a full set of false teeth.
Your dentist can safely remove teeth in several ways. Let’s look at some common types of extractions.
Simple Extractions: Performed on visible teeth that are visible above the gum line. Typically, your dentist will use a tool called an elevator to loosen the gums and widen the socket to make removal easier. Forceps are used to remove the tooth once the gum tissue has been raised enough. Usually, sutures aren’t required for simple extractions.
Surgical Extractions: Needed when a tooth is broken below the gum line or hasn’t erupted through the gum line yet (impacted). Surgical extractions require incisions to access the area and remove the broken tooth. Stitches may be required to close the incision site. Sometimes, removal of bone or tissue may also be necessary.
Impacted wisdom teeth are typically removed surgically as well. Due to the position of the teeth, surgical extractions are preferred over non-surgical methods. Even if the tooth is visible above your gum line, the roots of the teeth may still be encased in jawbone. In this case, surgical extractions will be recommended to avoid damage to the jaw and surrounding teeth.
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