When a tooth has become so extensively decayed or damaged that it cannot be saved, our dentist may recommend extracting it. Often, a tooth extraction can help alleviate pain and discomfort. Dr. Jeffrey Gregson has had extensive training in oral surgery, taking a particular interest in tooth extractions. Additionally, Dr. Gregson has specialized training and experience with dental implants. We use the most advanced dental technologies at our Metairie dental office to ensure optimal comfort and efficiency during your treatment.
In the event that you need multiple teeth extracted or missing one or more teeth, our dentists offer several replacement options. High quality restorations will restore the form and function of your mouth.
The type of tooth extraction procedure depends on whether the tooth is fully erupted or is partially or fully impacted. You may require a simple extraction procedure or a surgical extraction for more difficult teeth. Our dentists will do a complete exam on your entire mouth.
A decayed tooth that has completely erupted and cannot be saved with a restoration may only need a simple extraction.
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 cases, 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.
Simple extractions are less invasive than surgical extractions. A decayed tooth that has completely erupted and cannot be saved with a restoration may only need a simple extraction. Damaged, decayed, and infected teeth are generally not impacted.
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. Once the entire tooth has been removed, we will close up the incisions using dissolvable stitches.
Watch our animated patient education video on simple tooth extractions.
As dentists, our primary goal is to preserve your natural teeth. We may use white tooth fillings, crowns to repair decayed or damaged teeth. If necessary, a root canal may be perofmed to save your tooth. Unfortunately, some teeth are beyond repair or cause misalignment and other complications.
You may need a tooth extraction if:
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.
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.
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