Although the ultimate goal of our dentists at Thomas Family Dentistry is to keep your teeth healthy and your smile looking great, sometimes there is no option but to remove a severely damaged or infected tooth. We understand that losing a tooth may be upsetting, but there is no need to worry about the procedure - you are in safe hands with us - and we can also offer a range of different treatment options to help you restore your smile to its best.
When Is It Necessary to Remove Teeth?
There are various circumstances whereby the removal of a tooth is the preferred course of treatment. If the tooth has suffered trauma, for example through accident, and is so badly damaged it cannot be restored with a dental crown, removing it is likely to be the only option. Likewise, if a tooth is damaged so severely with tooth decay that the interior pulp is affected - and cannot be saved with a root canal - extracting the tooth is necessary to prevent recurring infections in the tooth which may be detrimental to your overall health.
Other circumstances when teeth may be extracted (even healthy ones) are if there is overcrowding in the mouth because there are too many teeth for the size of the jaw, or to remove wisdom teeth that are trapped beneath the gums (impacted).
What Is the Procedure for a Tooth Extraction?
Tooth extractions are a routine procedure carried out by our dentists, and they are highly skilled in ensuring you are entirely comfortable before the process begins. The area surrounding the tooth due for extraction is numbed with a local anesthetic, but for anxious patients, sedation dentistry is also an option.
When a tooth is protruding through the gums, it can be removed relatively easily as a single piece using an instrument similar to forceps. Broken or impacted teeth may need to be removed in several pieces and may require the gum to be opened up to extract all the pieces. Once removed, dissolvable stitches are used to close up the gum.
Recovery Time After Tooth Extraction
The dentist will let you know in greater detail about your recovery time. Generally, you may experience a little tenderness around the extraction site for a day or two, but it will soon settle down.
If your tooth was removed surgically you will be advised to eat soft foods and to take things easy, resting with your head elevated. If you have swelling you can use ice packs to help reduce it, and after a couple of days, things should be starting to return to normal.
Tooth Replacement Options After Extractions
There is no need to worry about how you will look with a missing tooth - our dentists have a range of restorative treatments available to replace your missing tooth immediately. An immediate partial denture is an option if the extracted tooth forms part of your smile. Once a few months have passed, enabling the gum to heal, you can discuss more permanent tooth restoration options with us, such as dental bridges or dental implants, to fully restore the function and beauty of your smile.
Get in touch with our team at Thomas Family Dentistry by calling 971-348-4244 to discuss teeth extractions and the restorative options available.