Your teeth are an essential feature of your body, performing numerous important tasks every single day. In order for them to perform their job, they must be properly maintained. However, sometimes teeth may experience damage, decay, or other issues. At Timothy H. Kindt, DDS, we understand the importance of your teeth. For this reason, we do everything in our power to restore the health of a damaged tooth. Sometimes, though, a damaged tooth cannot be saved. Leaving an unrestored tooth in your mouth is dangerous to both your oral and overall health (as well as the functions and aesthetics of your mouth). In the event that we cannot save a damaged tooth, we can perform a tooth extraction.
Reasons for Tooth Extractions
Damage to a tooth can have serious consequences on your oral and overall health, as well as the functions of your mouth and your smile. In the event of tooth damage, it is important that you seek dental treatment right away, even if the damage doesn’t seem that bad. In order to determine the best course of action, a thorough oral exam is conducted. First, we take a look at the tooth, checking for the severity of the damage. We will also check surrounding teeth to make sure that others have not been harmed. X-rays are also taken, which will allow us to assess the condition of the tooth below the gum line, as well as the interior of the tooth. We can determine if there is damage below the gum line, including damage to the teeth, roots, or the surrounding jawbone. Both a visual exam and X-rays enable us to determine the best course of action for your specific needs, even if that means tooth extraction.
There are a few different reasons why a tooth may need to be extracted. These reasons include such things as
Damage below the gum line
Damage to the crown of a tooth can usually be fixed with a crown. A crown is a restoration that covers the entire visible portion of a damaged tooth, providing it with strength and protection. Damage below the gum line cannot be covered by a crown, therefore leaving the tooth susceptible to bacterial invasion.
Significant tooth decay
When too much of the surface of a tooth is covered in decay, a filling is likely to only weaken the tooth, leaving it liable to shatter. At the same time, there may not be enough healthy tooth structure left to support a crown.
An impacted tooth is one that does not properly erupt. While commonly associated with wisdom teeth, any tooth can become impacted. An impacted tooth can cause serious pain, as well as potential harm to adjacent teeth.
An overcrowded mouth can lead to uneven tooth wear, jaw pain, poor digestion, and more. Extracting one or more teeth makes orthodontic work possible to correct alignment and your bite.
Simple Tooth Extractions
There are two types of extraction. A simple extraction is just what the name implies. It can typically be done under just a local anesthetic. With a simple extraction, the tooth is gripped with forceps and moved back and forth to widen the socket. When the socket is wide enough, the tooth is lifted out.
Surgical Tooth Extractions
A surgical tooth extraction is more complex. In some cases, sedation may be needed along with a local anesthetic. With a surgical extraction, incisions are made in the gums, exposing the entire affected tooth as well as surrounding bone. We then work to remove the damaged tooth. In some instances, a small amount of bone may need to be removed. Sometimes, we can just remove the tooth. Other times, we may need to break the tooth and remove it in pieces to ensure that the entire tooth is gone. The socket is cleaned and the gums stitched closed.
Even with all of the technology available today, there are still instances in which a damaged tooth cannot be restored. In this case, your best option is to have the tooth extracted and then replaced. For more information, contact Timothy H. Kindt, DDS at (480) 939-5818 today.