A whole smile is beautiful, a sign of good oral health, and the goal of a preventive approach to dentistry. However, some people are surprised to find that removing a tooth may be the best route to a healthier smile. Why do we need extractions? What does the procedure involve? Will you be uncomfortable?
The Danger of Dental Infection
One of the more common reasons a dentist will remove a tooth is to address an infection or abscess. An infection occurs when bacteria comes into contact with the pulp at the center of your tooth. In the early stages, the infected tissue can simply be removed during a root canal procedure. However, in the later stages the tooth may die and require extraction to stop infection from reaching the jawbone or surrounding teeth. Be aware that an infection often develops when a cavity isn’t treated in time. If you encounter sensitive teeth or a regular toothache then see the dentist for a diagnosis and to discuss possible treatment options.
Our Third Molars
Also known as wisdom teeth, these are up to four additional molars that erupt when a patient is in his/her teens or early 20s. While the teeth can comfortably accommodate 28 teeth, this pushes the number to 32, creating misalignment, aching teeth, impaction (where the tooth only partially erupts), infection, and possibly damaged teeth. Fortunately, the dentist can often remove the wisdom teeth prior to eruption to avoid the threat of impaction or other consequences.
Will the Procedure Be Comfortable?
The doctor will administer a local anesthetic prior to the procedure. If you feel apprehensive or have dental anxiety, the doctor can also discuss sedation dentistry to help you feel more calm and relaxed. The doctor will also provide detailed aftercare instructions to help ensure the healing process runs smoothly and comfortably.