Restore Your Oral Health
Your Health and Comfort is a Priority
A tooth extraction may be necessary from a variety of causes. Often, tooth extractions can help alleviate pain and discomfort. Some causes of tooth extractions include, severe tooth decay, jaw deterioration, or dental trauma. Additionally, a wisdom tooth may need to be extracted that is not decayed.
We use the most advanced dental technologies at our Metairie dental office to provide optimal comfort and efficiency during your treatment. Dr. Gregson has had extensive training in oral surgery, taking a particular interest in extractions. In addition to removing one or more teeth, our dentists provide high-quality dental restorations when replacements are required following an extraction.
Why a Tooth Extraction
As dentists, our primary goal is to preserve your natural teeth. We may use dental fillings or crowns to repair decayed or damaged teeth. Unfortunately, some teeth are beyond repair or cause misalignment and other complications.
You may need a tooth extraction if:
- Your teeth are overcrowded, resulting in misalignment.
- You have an infected tooth that we could not successfully treat with root canal therapy.
- One of your teeth is decayed beyond restoration.
- You need one or more wisdom teeth removed.
Tooth Extraction Using Anesthesia
When a tooth has become so extensively decayed or damaged that it cannot be preserved, your doctor may recommend extracting it to make way for a replacement restoration. If the tooth requires surgical access to be removed, your doctor will likely perform what is called a surgical extraction.
During a surgical extraction, your doctor numbs the area and uses hand instruments to clear a path in the surrounding soft tissue to ease the removal of the tooth. Sometimes this also includes removing bony obstructions or dividing the tooth into smaller pieces to facilitate the extraction.
After the tooth has been removed, your doctor will clean the area and may suture it closed as needed to allow for healing. While the site is healing, your doctor can fit you with a temporary tooth to wear in the meantime. When your doctor has determined that the area has sufficiently healed, they will work with you to present treatment options available to you to permanently replace the extracted tooth.
If left in place, the damaged tooth could lead to further complications such as infection or decay below the gumline, leading to more costly and extensive procedures in the long term. It is important to work closely with your doctor to devise a treatment plan that best reduces these risks to your oral health.
Tooth Extraction Procedure
The tooth extraction procedure varies slightly depending on whether the tooth is fully erupted or is partially or fully impacted. An impacted tooth is one that never erupts through the surface of the gums. Damaged, decayed, and infected teeth are generally not impacted. This makes the extraction process less invasive.
In addition to removing one or more teeth, we can also provide high quality restorations when replacements are required following an extraction.
To remove a fully erupted tooth, we use forceps to gently rock the tooth back and forth. This loosens it from the ligaments holding it in place. Once we have sufficiently loosened the tooth, we can easily pull it out. Partially or fully impacted teeth require surgical removal. We will create an incision in the gums and the underlying bone to access the tooth.
In some case, we may need to break the tooth into several pieces before removing it. This is commonly required with impacted wisdom teeth. Once the entire tooth has been removed, we will close up the incisions using dissolvable stitches.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Wisdom Teeth Should Be Monitored
When a 3rd molar, or wisdom tooth, becomes impacted or oriented in a way that jeopardizes the health of your surrounding teeth, bone, and tissue, your doctor may recommend extracting it. If the tooth requires surgical access to be removed, your doctor will likely perform what is called a surgical extraction.
During a surgical extraction, your doctor numbs the area and uses hand instruments to clear a path in the surrounding tissue to ease the removal of the tooth. Sometimes this also includes removing bony obstructions or dividing the tooth into smaller pieces to facilitate the extraction.
After the tooth has been removed, your doctor will clean the area and may suture it closed to allow for healing. They will monitor your progress and advise you when the area has sufficiently healed. With the wisdom tooth removed, the potential damage to the surrounding teeth, bone, and tissue has been eliminated as well as any threat of infection.
Simple Tooth Extraction
Tooth Removal Without Oral Surgery
When a tooth has become so extensively decayed or damaged that it cannot be saved, your dentist may recommend extracting it. In a simple extraction, your tooth is removed without surgery. Your doctor applies slight pressure with a specially designed instrument to gently and gradually ease the tooth from the socket.
Once the tooth has been removed, your doctor will clean the area so the healing process can begin. While you are healing, your doctor can fit you with a temporary tooth. When the area has sufficiently healed, your doctor will discuss treatment options to permanently replace the extracted tooth.
After Tooth Extraction Procedure
After you have one or more teeth removed, you must avoid drinking through a straw for the first 24 hours. You should also avoid alcoholic beverages and mouthwashes containing alcohol. Limit your physical activity for a few days so you do not agitate the empty socket. You may experience some swelling and bruising, but this is normal and should subside within a few days. Your doctor may provide pain medication to minimize discomfort, and you can use ice packs to help reduce any swelling.
Repair Bone Loss
A bone graft can repair an area of the jaw where a tooth used to be or any area where there is bone loss. This is often the first step in replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant.
Bone can be taken from one area of the mouth and transferred to another. Synthetic bone or sterile bone is taken from another source can also be used. Once placed, the area is given time to heal.
During this time, the graft solidifies and permanently blends into your natural bone tissue. Once completed, the damaged bone will have regained its original strength and stability, and further procedures such as a dental implant can be started.
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