Your teeth are a crucial part of your body. They help you to perform basic, yet essential, functions like bite and chew food as well as speak.
This is why, at Downtown Dental Care, we do everything we can to save a tooth that has suffered from damage. In some instances, however, there are times that the tooth cannot be saved, and it will need to be extracted.
Reasons for Extraction
Dr. Christianson will perform an extraction only when no other option, such as a filling or crown, will be able to save a tooth. There are several reasons why an extraction might need to occur:
Severe damage that has cracked the tooth deep under the gum line or shattered it.
Severe tooth decay where little of the tooth is left, and a filling would be so large it would cause more harm than good.
Your mouth is crowded. This is often the reason for extracting teeth prior to getting braces.
Impacted tooth. This is common with wisdom teeth, or the third molars, although any tooth can be affected. Impacted teeth can cause localized gum infections, or press up against adjacent teeth, causing shifting and damage.
If teeth are going to be in the field of a radiation treatment.
If a tooth is at risk for infection in a person with a weakened immune system.
Whatever the reason for your extraction, Dr. Christianson is an expert on the procedure, and we will do all we can to make sure that you are comfortable before, during and after.
Tooth Extraction Process
Before your surgery Dr. Christianson will take X-rays to get a true image of what the affected tooth looks like. He will also be able to determine if the extraction will be simple or more complex. Depending upon your condition (if you have an infection, for example), you may be prescribed antibiotics. You will also learn your options for anesthesia. We understand that dental procedures, especially those that are more serious, can be scary, and we want you to feel as safe and worry-free as possible. We offer several types of sedation, ranging from those that keep you slightly sedated all the way to general anesthesia. The type of anesthesia you choose will determine if you should fast prior to the procedure.
On the day of your extraction, we will make sure you are comfortable and administer the anesthesia. Then Dr. Christianson will perform the procedure. A simple extraction is exactly what it sounds like. The socket will be expanded by moving the tooth back and forth. Once the socket is wide enough, forceps will be used to pull the tooth free. The only thing you will feel, if you are awake, is pressure, no pain.
A more complex issue will require a surgical extraction. This is often the case if the tooth is broken under the gums, severely decayed or impacted below the gum line. In this procedure, your gums will need to be cut and Dr. Christianson may also need to cut and remove some of the surrounding bone tissue.
At the end of the procedure, the extraction site will be closed and you will be provided with aftercare instructions. Following these directions will help you have a smooth, easy recovery period. If, for some reason, you do experience any problems, you should call immediately.
For more information on tooth extractions, feel free to give us a call at (503) 420-7600!