When Tooth Extraction is Necessary
The idea of having a tooth extraction at your Rochester, NY dentist or periodontist may cause you to feel anxious, but it’s a necessary procedure for some dental issues. Severe tooth decay, tooth abscesses, or other dental problems may present with tooth pain and sensitivity, sore gums, headache, fever, and other symptoms, but what if there’s no pain? Do you still need an extraction?
It’s common for patients to visit the dentist believing their oral health is fine, only to discover that there’s an underlying issue with one or more teeth or surrounding gums. Many dental problems have tooth pain as the first symptom, so without pain, you may not realize there’s a problem until it’s more severe.
Still, tooth extraction may be necessary, even if you don’t have pain. Here are some common problems that may require a tooth extraction, with or without symptoms.
Tooth caries, or cavities, are holes in the tooth caused by bacterial plaque.1 Cavities are common, and if detected early, a dental professional can treat them easily with a filling. Small cavities usually have little discomfort, but they can get bigger and reach the nerve of the tooth if left untreated. When this happens, it can be painful. Not all severe cavities require extraction, but it may be necessary if your tooth can’t be repaired.
Periodontitis is a severe gum infection resulting in tooth loss and potentially severe health complications.2 Periodontitis can damage the soft tissue, tooth, and underlying bone of the jaw that supports your teeth. When this happens, the teeth can become loose and a periodontist will need to remove the tooth. Loose teeth from periodontitis don’t usually have pain as a symptom, but if they’re impossible to save, this may be the only option.
For patients with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients or people with illnesses that affect the immune system, tooth decay can progress to a severe infection.3 Even if you don’t have tooth pain, a cavity can be severe enough to cause an infection in the tooth or surrounding gums, which can quickly become systemic. A dentist may recommend removing the tooth – and thus the infection – to prevent these complications in these cases.
Adults or children who want braces may need an extraction to prevent problems with teeth crowding. This typically involves the third molars, also known as wisdom teeth or the back teeth. This creates space to straighten the remaining teeth and get the most favorable outcome from orthodontic treatment.
Even if a tooth isn’t causing pain right now, it may have a problem that will result in pain or future dental issues or complications. Third molars are an example of problematic teeth that are removed preemptively to avoid complications, such as impaction, abscess, infection, or damage to the surrounding teeth.4 For many patients, the best option is to remove all the wisdom teeth before they erupt.
Here’s What Tooth Extraction Involves at a Rochester NY Periodontist
Oral surgeons perform tooth extractions in an outpatient setting. They will use dental X-rays to check the tooth and surrounding areas.
The oral surgeon will use a local anesthetic in this procedure that numbs the area and minimizes pain and discomfort. Complicated cases, such as wisdom teeth, may require a general anesthetic.5
During a tooth extraction, the oral surgeon will enlarge the area holding the tooth in place. If the area has had trauma or decay, there may not be much holding the tooth in place at the time of extraction. The oral surgeon uses specialized dental instruments to gently loosen the tooth and carefully lift it from the socket.
If your oral surgeon needs to make incisions in your gum, they will gently and carefully stitch up the affected area following the extraction.
When the procedure is complete, your oral surgeon will have you bite down on a piece of gauze over the extraction site.
After the procedure, it’s essential to follow the oral surgeon’s aftercare instructions. Improper care following a tooth extraction can result in a dry socket.
Tooth Extraction Services in Rochester, NY
No one looks forward to a tooth extraction, but remember that dentists and oral surgeons do everything possible to save a tooth. If you do need an extraction, trust that it is the best option to treat your dental condition. At Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester, we do everything to keep you comfortable throughout the extraction procedure and work with you to ensure minimal complications during healing. Contact us today to schedule your consultation! 585.685.2005