Tooth extractions can be performed by your general dentist, oral surgeon or periodontist depending on the complexity of the procedure to be completed.
Teeth may need to be extracted for several reasons:
Decay: There may be times when cavities are too extensive or in a location that makes repairing the tooth difficult or impossible.
Fracture: Teeth that are split or roots that are broken usually need to be extracted.
Infection: When an infection does not heal or destroys the support for the tooth it may be healthier to have the tooth extracted.
Bone Loss/Periodontal Disease: Teeth that have been affected by advanced periodontal disease may have a significant amount of loss of the bone that supports them. This may lead to the teeth moving or becoming loose. Teeth in this condition are given a poor prognosis and may be recommended for extraction.
Orthodontic treatment: In cases of severe crowding or skeletal discrepancies, your orthodontist may recommend the extraction of one or more teeth to create enough space to align your teeth properly. This is important for certain cosmetic procedures, such as Invisalign.
Impaction: Teeth that have not erupted into their proper location can affect the surrounding teeth. Your dentist will evaluate if removing these teeth will benefit your immediate and long term dental health.
Is a tooth extraction painful?
The thought of having teeth extractions done often makes people nervous. They may avoid the necessary treatment, making the possibility of pain or complications worse. Depending on the complexity and length of the procedure and your anxiety level, there are a number of options available for your comfort:
Local Anesthesia: Traditionally known as “Novocain”, involves administering an anesthetic through a dental needle to numb a particular area of the mouth. Patients are fully awake, aware and conscious during the procedure.
Nitrous Oxide: Traditionally known as “laughing gas”, involves the administration of a gas that is inhaled through a nose piece. Patients are awake and conscious but more relaxed. The advantage of having nitrous oxide is that its effects are immediately reversed, thus the use of a designated driver or transportation is not necessary. You may drive yourself to and from your appointment. Some patients may not be able to have nitrous oxide depending on their general health.
Oral Sedative: Your dentist may be able to prescribe a pill for you to take prior to your appointment. There are several different medications available depending on your anxiety level and overall health. Patients will need to be driven to their appointments, as the effects of the sedative are not immediately worn off by the end of the procedure.
Conscious Sedation: A certified trained dentist or anesthesiologist will administer medication through an I.V. in your hand or arm. While you will be able to breathe and respond to direction on your own, you will not remember your visit or the procedure. Your vital signs are closely monitored during the procedure. Medical clearance may be necessary prior to having conscious sedation. For patients with complex medical conditions, the procedure may need to be performed in a hospital setting. Patients who elect to have this type of sedation will also need transportation to and from their appointment.