WHAT ARE EXTRACTIONS
An extraction means to have a tooth removed, usually because of disease, trauma or crowding.
If you need an extraction, your dentist will first numb the area to lessen any discomfort. After the extraction, your dentist will advise you of what post extraction regimen to follow. In most cases a small amount of bleeding is normal. Your mouth will slowly fill in the bone where the tooth root was through the formation of a blood clot.
WHY DO I NEED EXTRACTIONS
Although permanent teeth were meant to last a lifetime, there are a number of reasons why tooth extraction may be needed. A very common reason involves a tooth that is too badly damaged, from trauma or decay, to be repaired. Other reasons include:
A crowded mouth. Sometimes dentists pull teeth to prepare the mouth for orthodontia. The goal of orthodontia is to properly align the teeth, which may not be possible if your teeth are too big for your mouth. Likewise, if a tooth cannot break through the gum (erupt) because there is no room in the mouth for it, your dentist may recommend pulling it.
Infection. If tooth decay or damage extends to the pulp -- the center of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels -- bacteria in the mouth can enter the pulp, leading to infection. Often this can be corrected with root canal therapy (RCT), but if the infection is so severe that antibiotics or RCT do not cure it, extraction may be needed to prevent the spread of infection.
Risk of infection. If your immune system is compromised (for example, if you are receiving chemotherapy or are having an organ transplant), even the risk of infection in a particular tooth may be reason enough to pull the tooth.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease. If periodontal disease -- an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth -- have caused loosening of the teeth, it may be necessary to the pull the tooth or teeth.
BENEFITS OF EXTRACTIONS
There are several benefits of having extractions, here are a few of the top benefits below.
- Pain Reduction – Wisdom teeth erupting through sensitive gum tissue causes intense pain. As wisdom teeth erupt, surrounding teeth begin to shift changing an individual’s bite. The wisdom teeth push against nerves causing intense pain, headaches, and chewing difficulties. Wisdom teeth removal can end this pain.
- Infection Prevention – Erupted wisdom teeth can partially break through gums, but fail to fully come in. This can lead to a huge risk of infection as food particles and bacteria can become trapped between the teeth and/or gums. Wisdom tooth removal is a great way to eliminate that risk.
- Netflix/Clearing DVR – With any surgery, there is a recovery time. Luckily, the recovery time for wisdom teeth removal is relatively short. However, you will still have time to catch up on your favorite shows.
- Ice Cream/Smoothies – Did I mention there is a short recovery time? During that time, you will not be able to eat any hard foods so ice cream and smoothies are always great options during this time.
With any surgery, there are pros and cons. A healthy relationship between the patient and oral surgeon is essential to deciding if wisdom tooth removal is the best course of action.