Dental extraction

A carefully considered treatment option

While Roo Dental believes retention of teeth is nearly always better than extraction, there are times when extraction is the best treatment option. The aim is to achieve the best option over the long term so your dentist is in the best position to evaluate your situation. The extraction of wisdom teeth, also called third molars, can be more complicated and your dentist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. The primary (deciduous) teeth, sometimes called baby teeth or milk teeth are, are only extracted in certain situations as they are important for maintaining the space to allow proper eruption of the secondary (permanent) teeth.

Teeth may need to be extracted due to extensive damage from decay or trauma, periodontal (gum) disease from poor dental hygiene and a build-up of plaque and calculus on the tooth which can cause the gums to be inflamed and infected, prevention of complications as a badly diseased tooth can lead to infections or abscesses which can lead to the spread of infection into the blood stream, to improve the appearance as part of orthodontic treatment and due to cracks in a tooth root where repair is not possible.

A tooth should only be extracted after careful consideration and discussion with your dentist because they function better than artificial teeth such as dentures. In an attempt to save a tooth your dentist may recommend a root canal treatment. The space left by a missing tooth can cause nearby teeth to move out of their normal position and tilt into the gap which often makes chewing difficult. A bridge, denture or dental implant may be necessary to prevent the movement of neighbouring teeth.

Before extraction your dentist will take an X-ray of the tooth and jaw to plan the best way to remove the tooth. Local anaesthesia is then injected into the gum to numb the area around the tooth or teeth to be extracted so that you no longer feel any pain from the tooth or during the procedure.

The difficulty of the extraction may vary depending on the type of tooth, the position of its roots in the jaw, the position of adjacent teeth, if the tooth has a lot of decay or large fillings, if the tooth is impacted or if there is a nerve close to the tooth to be extracted. Sometimes surgery is required or the tooth may have to be divided into smaller pieces so it can be removed more easily.

With any type of surgery (including dental extractions) it is normal to expect possible complications afterwards such as post-operative pain once the effect of the anaesthetic has worn off, prolonged bleeding from the wound, a dry socket can occur if the blood clot that is in the socket washes away or dissolves leaving the jaw bone exposed to the oral environment, infection in the gum or bone, sinus problems if it is an upper tooth, numbness or altered sensation, damage to adjacent teeth or fillings and weakening of the jaw bone around the extraction site over time.