A tooth extraction involves removing a natural tooth from the mouth for the purpose of preserving or maintaining oral health. While it is often better to save a natural tooth, sometimes, it is necessary to remove one when the tooth and adjacent tissues have suffered significant impairment.
At Periodontal Consultants of Philadelphia, we understand the importance of preserving natural teeth and offer tooth extractions only in the cases in which they are truly necessary. Below, we will explore the reasons for extractions and the different types of extractions that we offer. If you have any questions, please contact our Philadelphia, PA office.
Reasons for Extractions
There are several reasons why a tooth may need to be extracted. Some of these include:
- Severe decay or damage: If a tooth is severely decayed or damaged beyond repair, it may need to be extracted to prevent further damage to the surrounding teeth and tissues.
- Crowding: If your mouth is crowded with teeth, we may recommend extracting one to create space for neighboring teeth to emerge or align correctly.
- Infection: In some cases, a tooth may become infected, and the bacteria can invade the surrounding teeth and tissues. If a root canal is unable to resolve the problem, an extraction may be necessary to prevent the spread of infection.
- Impacted teeth: Impacted teeth are teeth that are blocked from erupting from the gums. In these cases, an extraction may be necessary to prevent infection, cyst development, and other oral health issues.
- Wisdom teeth: Wisdom teeth are the third molars that usually emerge in early adulthood. If they are unable to emerge properly or are growing in at an improper angle they may need to be extracted.
Simple extractions are relatively straightforward procedures where our team removes a tooth that is visible above the gum line.
- Before the extraction, we will numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic.
- Once the area is numb, we will use a dental tool called an elevator to loosen the tooth and then use forceps to remove it from the socket.
- After the extraction, we may place a gauze pad over the socket and ask you to bite down on it to help stop any bleeding.
Surgical extractions are more complex procedures that are necessary when a tooth is not visible above the gum line. In these cases, our periodontal provider will need to make a small incision in the gum tissue to access the tooth.
- Once the tooth is visible, we will access it by first removing any surrounding bone or tissue that is holding the tooth in place.
- Finally, we will use forceps to remove the tooth from the socket—either in one whole piece or in fragments.
- After the extraction, we will place a gauze pad over the socket and stitch the gum tissue closed to aid in the healing process.
Wisdom Tooth Extractions
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that typically emerge in late adolescence or early adulthood, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. While not everyone will develop wisdom teeth, most people will have four of them—one in each of the four back corners of the mouth. There are times when these teeth can grow in without a problem, but most of the time the dental arch lacks the space for them to emerge; instead, the teeth become impacted below the gum line—leading to a host of problems.
If we determine that one or more of your wisdom teeth need to be extracted, a surgical extraction is recommended to access them. After the extraction, you may experience some swelling and discomfort, but our team will provide you with instructions on how to manage the recovery process.
Overall, while tooth extractions are often a last resort, they can be necessary and beneficial in some cases to keep your smile healthy. At Periodontal Consultants of Philadelphia, we strive to make the extraction process as comfortable and stress-free as possible for our patients. Whether you need a simple extraction, a surgical extraction, or wisdom teeth removed, our experienced periodontal team is here to provide you with the care and support you need.