As much as we would like for you to keep your own teeth for a lifetime, the fact is that sometimes a tooth is simply too damaged or infected to save, and removing it is the best option to protect the rest of your teeth and your oral health.
We understand that the prospect of having a tooth extracted can be scary. You probably have a lot of questions about the process and about what happens afterward.
Before we make the decision to extract a tooth, we’ll discuss all of your options and the probable outcomes of each so that you understand why we are making this recommendation. We’ll also walk you through the process we expect to take (because not every tooth extraction is the same), and we’ll give you specific instructions to help you care for the extraction site while you heal and help prevent complications.
Why Do I Need a Tooth Extraction?
At our Edmond, OK dental office, we extract teeth for a number of reasons. We may recommend an extraction if you are dealing with any of the following situations:
- A tooth has decayed to the point where it cannot be repaired.
- Your tooth is so infected that root canal therapy can no longer help.
- Your tooth has broken below the gum line or is not intact enough to hold a dental crown.
- You are preparing for dentures.
- You need orthodontic treatment, but your teeth are too crowded for the size of your mouth.
- You have wisdom teeth that are impacted (partially or completely covered by gum tissue) or are causing other problems.
How Are Extractions Done?
Depending on the particular situation, we may recommend either a simple extraction or a surgical extraction. Simple extractions are done when a portion of the tooth is still present above the gum line. Using instruments specifically designed for this purpose, we gently wiggle the tooth to loosen it and then lift it out of the socket.
A surgical extraction is done when the tooth is impacted or has broken beneath the gum line. During a surgical extraction, we will have to make an incision in the gum to reach the tooth, and you may require stitches afterward. These extractions do take a couple of extra days to heal, but we will provide you with the information you need to stay comfortable during your healing period.
I’m Still Worried About My Incision
We completely understand. We will make sure that you are completely numb before we begin your procedure, and if you ever start to feel uncomfortable or worried during your extraction, just raise your hand, and we’ll stop what we are doing to check on you. Simple extractions can often be completed so quickly that it will be over before you even realize that we’ve started!
Dr. Gray also offers sedation dentistry for his patients who need some extra help feeling calm about their dental care. If this sounds like you, let us know, and we can discuss your sedation options to see what will be the right choice for you.
If you have a tooth that is causing you pain or you’ve been told that you need an extraction, don’t hesitate to give us a call.