Your teeth perform many important functions every single day. In addition to biting and chewing, the teeth are essential for proper speech and a beautiful smile. They also play an integral role in the health of your jawbone. The teeth are the strongest substance in your body and can stand up to a significant amount of wear and tear. However, they can still be faced with significant issues that affect their strength and health. Ideally, damaged teeth are restored, allowing them to continue to function normally. In some cases, though, the teeth cannot be saved. Instead, the teeth need to be extracted. Mid Valley Family Dental is here to help.
What Happens When Teeth are Damaged?
When your teeth are damaged, dental treatment is needed right away, even if the damage does not seem all that severe at the time. Significant damage can compromise the structural integrity of the affected teeth, and place them at risk for developing an infection. We can assess the extent of the damage and determine the best treatment possible. The ideal solution for damaged or decayed teeth is to restore them. This allows them to function normally, and remain in their sockets. However, if the damage is too severe, an extraction may be the only solution.
Do I Need a Tooth Extraction?
There are several different treatments that may be recommended for damaged or decayed teeth. These treatments include fillings, crowns, or a root canal. There are certain situations, however, in which these treatments may not be possible, leading to the need for an extraction. Common reasons for a tooth extraction include:
- Tooth fractures that travel below the gum line. These fractures may start at the crown and extend below the gum line or may be completely below the gums.
- Split or shattered teeth.
- Severe tooth decay that cannot be treated with fillings or a crown.
In some cases, you may require an extraction even though your teeth are not damaged. These situations include:
- Treating overcrowding. If your mouth is overcrowded, extractions may be needed to create enough space to create a beautiful, healthy smile.
- Impacted wisdom teeth.
Simple Tooth Extractions
There are two types of extractions. As the name implies, simple tooth extraction is a fairly simple, straightforward extraction. It is performed under a local anesthetic, preventing you from feeling any pain. First, a tool called an elevator is used to help separate the gum tissue and periodontal ligament from around the tooth. Next, forceps are used to move the tooth back and forth, widening the periodontal ligament more. Finally, the tooth is lifted free from the socket. If necessary, a stitch is given to help close the wound.
Surgical Tooth Extractions
In more complex situations, such as a split or shattered tooth, surgical tooth extraction may be needed. This type of extraction is performed under a local anesthetic and sedation. We begin with a small incision in the gums, exposing the root of the affected tooth and surrounding bone. Next, we carefully extract the tooth. This may require that we section the tooth and remove it in pieces or that we remove a portion of your bone around the tooth. Once the tooth has been removed, the socket is cleaned out, and sutures are placed to close the surgical wound.
In many cases, extracted teeth are later replaced. We can help to determine the best type of replacement for you. For more information about tooth extractions, and to schedule your appointment, call Mid Valley Family Dental today at 503-902-1622.