Tooth extractions are a common occurrence in general dentistry. Dentists do their best to preserve natural teeth, but sometimes it isn’t possible to save the tooth. Tooth decay, periodontal disease, and injury are the most common causes of tooth loss. In a simple extraction, your dentist can see the tooth to be pulled and can use extraction instruments (the elevator tool and forceps) on it. Surgical extractions are necessary when the tooth has broken off at the gum line, or the tooth hasn’t erupted through the gums, as is often the case with impacted wisdom teeth.
Tooth decay. A badly decayed tooth may be pulled to stop the spread of infection. A decayed tooth may be causing severe pain or could be in danger of shattering. If the tooth’s strength and structural integrity are too badly compromised, an extraction can be the way to go.
Infection. If the infection has penetrated the pulp chamber, there’s usually a great deal of pain involved. Pus will form inside the chamber and put pressure on the nerves, forming an abscess. The abscess can spread into bone tissue. While a root canal is usually the solution to this kind of infection, sometimes a patient may elect to have the tooth pulled.
Gum disease (periodontal disease). Periodontal disease causes teeth to become loose in their sockets, due to supporting gum tissues and ligaments receding.
Injury. If X-rays show that the tooth is likely to shatter or fragment if treated in place, extracting the tooth can be the best choice.
Wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are their own special category. They often come in at a bad angle, crowding other teeth. Wisdom teeth also may fail to emerge fully from the gums, requiring extraction.
If your dentist can see the tooth in question, they will numb the tooth and gum tissues around it. The tooth is loosened with a tool called an elevator and pulled with forceps. A blood clot will form inside the empty tooth socket, protecting the nerves.
At Berkeley Smiles in Berkeley, we have the expertise to make sure tooth extractions are painless and worry free. Book an appointment with us today!