Dental extractions

Only when this is the best solution

Sometimes a tooth has to be removed.

It might have decay, gum disease, or fracture beyond what can be repaired, or we may need to remove it for space or prior to orthodontics.

Some teeth are poorly positioned and need to be removed. A common example of this are third molars or wisdom teeth.

We investigate all options before recommending the permanent extraction of a tooth.

Answering common questions about dental extraction and an explanation of concepts will make it easier for you to understand and accept that sometimes to remove the tooth is the best solution.

How do I know if my wisdom teeth need to be removed?

Your dentist will make this recommendation based on your examination and radiographs, usually around age 17-22. Not all wisdom teeth have to be removed.

In some cases there is lots of room and the wisdom teeth can come in and function normally.

In other cases the wisdom teeth stay buried in bone and are unlikely to grow, and in some cases the wisdom teeth never form at all.

The most common problem with wisdom teeth is when one comes part way into the mouth and stalls out.

It’s best to remove these teeth at a recommended time and not wait until they have caused damage or become infected at the worst possible time (on vacation, etc.).

Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that grow in the back of your mouth.

They are technically called the third molars because they appear after the second molars.

Wisdom teeth can be a valuable asset if they grow vertically and are aligned properly.

However, these teeth have been known to grow diagonally and horizontally.

This uneven growth can cause myriad problems including infection of surrounding tissue, damage to the adjacent second molars, and damage to the jawbone.

Additionally, wisdom teeth sometimes do not fully erupt through the gum and are impacted.

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What does it mean to have an impacted wisdom tooth?

A tooth is said to become impacted when there is a lack of space in the dental arch and its growth is affected, by gum, bone or another tooth.

There are different kinds of impaction.

Mesioangular impaction occurs when the tooth grows forward towards the front of the mouth.

Vertical impaction is when the formed wisdom tooth does not fully erupt through the gum.

Horizontal impaction, which is not as common as the other two forms of impaction, occurs when the tooth is angled sideways, growing towards the roots of the second molar.

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Why is removal of impacted wisdom teeth good?

Impacted wisdom teeth are usually removed because of the problems they are causing or because of the problems that may arise if they remain in the mouth.

In many cases, damage caused by wisdom teeth is not visible on the surface.

Your Eastport Centre Dentist will usually take full X-rays of the mouth to see what is going on underneath the gum and to determine what type of extraction is required.

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How do you remove a tooth?

You may hear people talk about getting a tooth “pulled”.

This is an unfortunate term. We don’t pull out teeth to remove them because we might damage the surrounding teeth, gums and bone.

If a tooth needs removal, we numb the area around it and then “luxate” it, that is, we move the tooth from side to side until it is loose and then lift it out.

Sometimes we will cut the tooth into two or more pieces to remove it safely, especially if it has several roots going in different directions.

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What can I expect after I have my tooth removed?

Every case is different, and after the tooth is removed we will review with you what to expect.

In general, a small amount of discomfort is normal right when the freezing wears off, and some patients will take an ibuprofen or acetaminophen at that time.

Bleeding or swelling are usually minimal, but again, we can tell you what to expect with your particular case.

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Do I need to replace my tooth once it is removed?

It depends. Some teeth are important for functionality or aesthetics.

For example, the first molar tooth is very important for chewing and taking the bite force to protect the other teeth from damage/loss.

Some other teeth, such as wisdom teeth, are not replaced. We will talk about different options with you and you will decide what the right treatment is for you.

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Your teeth are important!

We do our best to save your teeth

When a tooth gets infected and it hurts, you should come in right away to visit the dentist. You don’t need to be afraid, root canal treatment is done under anesthesia.