Welcome to our oral health blog! We love having this platform to provide folks in our community with helpful dentistry-related information. If you are having any issues, or you just need a great dentist to help you stay on-track, we’d love to see you sometime soon in our Houston office. When you are done reading this post, get in-touch and we’ll set it all up for you.
Anyway, today we want to talk about a sore subject: tooth extractions. And we may as well start with a story.
Sometime last year, a young lady who was not yet out of college, came into Antoine Dental Center for her standard teeth cleaning and dental exam. We have to give her a shout out for being a busy student and still finding time to look after the health of her mouth! Through X-rays we took while she was here, we discovered that two of her wisdom teeth, though still under the surface, were threatening to cause trouble for the surrounding teeth.
Accordingly, we planned for what is known as a preemptive extraction. She was happy to go along with it, and her story had a happy ending. It probably helped that she was heavily sedated throughout the brief procedure.
To date, the other two wisdom teeth have still not given us any real cause for concern, so we aren’t going to take any further action, until we have to. And that day may never come.
Obviously, wisdom teeth are a different scenario than dealing with regular teeth. Still, no one gets excited about having to have any sort of tooth forcibly removed from their mouth.
That said, we must do exactly that, in some cases, to keep the rest of your mouth healthy and looking its best. We know that this practice might sound counter-intuitive, but there really are some valid reasons for extractions. Let’s explore a few…
When there is prolonged damage or decay your options become more limited. Remember, our goal is always to save your natural teeth whenever possible. But if the tooth is too damaged to be saved by a dental filling, root canal therapy, or endodontic treatment, we may well recommend extraction.
Advanced Gum Disease
If severe gum disease has destroyed your gums and underlying bone, the tooth in question may be too loose to be saved by conventional gum disease treatment. In this sort of scenario, the tooth must be removed and replaced with an implant. Gum disease actually accounts for the majority of adult tooth loss in this country and it attacks your body’s other systems too.
This is a common situation for folks looking to restore their smile after initial tooth loss has occurred. Complete dentures or overdentures (dentures supported by dental implants) span the entire arch, so tooth extraction may be necessary if you are getting all of your teeth replaced. It will make the situation better for you in the end, so keep that in-mind.
You might be surprised by this one. But your orthodontist may actually recommend tooth extraction if your mouth is too crowded. When you think about it, there is a good reason, braces do need room to be able to move your teeth into a better alignment. At the end of the day, braces will improve the health and appearance of your smile, boost your confidence, etc.
It’s Like Pulling Teeth!
If you turn out to be a good candidate for a dental extraction, we will begin with a complete oral evaluation. Our team will take digital dental X-rays and possibly 3D CAT scan images.
From these crisp, detailed images we can better see the structure of your tooth so that we can extract it safely.
After we get through the planning process, we will numb the area around your damaged tooth. If the crown of your tooth is visible above your gum line, we can do a simple extraction. In the event that your tooth is broken off at the gumline or is impacted, like wisdom teeth often can be, we may surgically remove your tooth.
Don’t fret, if you are at all anxious about the procedure, we can offer you some great sedation options to help put you at ease. If we are removing several teeth that day, we will likely use general anesthesia.
Find Out More!
Our Houston, TX team can determine if tooth extraction is the most viable solution. At Antoine Dental Center, we provide safe and comfortable tooth removal for both children and adults patients. We’ll make it as easy and painless as possible! Call us at 713-364-8990 to learn more.