Maintaining good oral health by brushing and flossing daily, as well as visiting the dentist regularly, can help you avoid tooth loss and keep your teeth for life. However, there are situations in which tooth extraction is needed to prevent more serious oral health problems. Dr. Colin Smith, the experienced dentist at Lake Oswego Smiles in Lake Oswego, OR, can determine if tooth extractions are needed in your case.
When Extraction is Needed
There can be many reasons why a tooth must be pulled out. For example, a severely infected tooth that cannot be saved through root canal therapy should be extracted. Pulling out the tooth helps prevent the infection from spreading to other areas of the mouth. Additionally, extracting the tooth alleviates any pain and sensitivity caused by the infection. Tooth extraction is needed in the following situations:
- A tooth is severely infected, damaged, or decayed
- The teeth are overcrowded and do not have enough space
- The wisdom teeth are impacted and will not fully erupt
- Baby or deciduous teeth have not fallen out on their own
Tooth Extraction Procedure
The procedure for performing tooth extractions at our office in Lake Oswego is fairly straightforward in most cases. X-ray images are taken prior to extracting a tooth. The images enable the dentist to examine the positioning of the tooth’s root, as well as the bone tissue surrounding the root. If the root is in an unusual position, adjustments can be made to help the extraction procedure go as smoothly as possible. For instance, the tooth might need to be pulled out of an angle.
Local anesthesia is administered to numb the mouth in advance. Oral sedatives or nitrous oxide might also be used to help patients relax and remain as comfortable as possible throughout the extraction process. Different factors can affect the method used to extract the tooth. A simple extraction involves using tools to lift and loosen the tooth so it can be pulled out. A surgical extraction is used for more challenging situations, such as an impacted tooth, and can involve breaking the tooth before pulling it out.
During the procedure, various steps are taken to protect the bone tissue surrounding the tooth root so it is not damaged. If necessary, bone-grafting material can be placed in the tooth socket following the extraction to help preserve bone tissue, which can diminish when teeth are missing. Once the tooth has been successfully extracted, the area can be stitched closed. In most cases, the gums heal completely within one to two weeks.
Even though we’d like to keep our natural teeth for life, there are times when extracting a problem tooth can improve oral health.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Smith to learn more about tooth extractions by calling Lake Oswego Smiles in Lake Oswego, OR, at (503) 635-3653.