The very thought of having their teeth pulled frightens many people. But, tooth extractions are not the painful procedure you may believe it to be. Once the dentist numbs your tooth and gum, you won’t feel anything. Also, it’s not only children who need to go through this procedure; adults also need to have their teeth extracted for a variety of reasons, such as when a tooth is irreparably damaged or decayed.
Reasons to Extract Teeth
You may need to have a tooth extracted for one or more of the following reasons:
- The tooth is broken or damaged by decay. If the tooth cannot be fixed with a filling, dental crown or some other way, then an extraction will be needed.
- The tooth is so loose it can’t be saved — not even with bone-replacement surgery.
- Your child has an extra tooth that blocks other teeth from coming in.
- Your child’s baby teeth do not fall out naturally, preventing the permanent teeth from coming in.
- Third molars, popularly known as wisdom teeth, often must be extracted. In most people, they come in when they are in their late teens or early 20s.
- Wisdom teeth become impacted. The teeth may be coming in on an angle, causing pain. When a wisdom tooth emerges partially a flap of skin called an operculum may form over the tooth. This will make the tooth hard to clean which can lead to bacteria which will cause infection, known as pericoronitis.
- If you are getting braces, one or more teeth may need to be extracted to allow space for the teeth that are being moved.
- If you are getting radiation to your head and neck, one or more of the teeth lying in the field of radiation may need to be extracted.
- Cancer drugs weaken the immune system. If you are taking cancer drugs, then you may need to have the affected teeth extracted.
- Organ transplants weaken the immune system. If you have had an organ transplant, then you may need to have the infected teeth extracted.
Tooth Extraction Procedure
Tooth extraction procedure begins with the preparation and ends with the extraction of the troublesome tooth.
- Preparation: First we will examine the tooth that has been troubling you and takes an X-ray of the area. We will want to know your medical and dental history and the medicines you have been taking. If it is your wisdom teeth that are being removed, we may take a panoramic X-ray, which shows all your teeth from one end to another in one shot. The X-ray helps us to plan the best way to extract your teeth. Before pulling your teeth, we will numb your teeth and the surrounding gum with local anesthesia. Depending on the type of extraction, we may even administer intravenous (IV) anesthesia.
- Extraction: After administering anesthesia, we will proceed to extract your teeth. There are two types of extractions: simple extraction and surgical extraction. The former is done on teeth that are clearly visible above the gum. We loosen the tooth using an instrument called an elevator and pull it out using an instrument called forceps. The latter, which will require surgical extraction, is a more complex procedure that is performed on teeth that are not clearly visible, such as a tooth that has broken off at the gum line.
- Final: Depending on the incision and extraction site, sutures may be needed to close the area. Soluble sutures are the best option, which will dissolve on their own.
- Follow-up: After extracting your teeth, we will put a gauge in the gap and tell you to keep biting it for up to a half-hour. Before sending you home, you will receive instructions on what you can do and what you cannot do, such as limiting your food intake to only soft foods and perhaps to drink from a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. The same goes for smoking.
Tooth extractions are considered to be a type of surgery, so you should expect some discomfort. After the extraction, you may take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to decrease the pain with your dentist’s permission.
The dentists at Maiden Lane Dental have been performing teeth extractions for many years. It is important to us and our goal for our patient is to be comfortable and to experience only minor discomfort or no pain at all.
If you feel you are a candidate for teeth extraction do not hesitate and call our office today at 212-509-4585. You may also use our contact form. One of our expert technicians will respond quickly and efficiently.
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Meet the Doctor
Lloyd Becker, DDS
Lloyd Becker, DDS brings a fresh new approach to the dental practice. He has a deep understanding of the people in the area. His continued and advanced education adds an added layer to Maiden Lane Dental.
Dr. Demetrious Tsiokos
Dr. Demetrious Tsiokos continues to administer the most advanced treatments in General Dentistry and Periodontics and Implantology.