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Dental Health

Tooth Extraction (Removing a Tooth)

Though it is sometimes best to save a natural tooth if possible with treatments such as fillings or crowns, there are times when tooth extraction is necessary. Reasons for removing a permanent tooth include:

  • Severe trauma or decay
  • Damage beyond repair
  • A crowded mouth
  • Infection
  • Risk of infection

Sometimes teeth are too big for your mouth, causing crowding and misalignment. Other times a tooth may fail to break through the gum due to lack of available space. Removing a tooth can allow for realignment of the remaining teeth.

If bacteria enter the pulp, infection may enter the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. Often infection is cured with root canal therapy, but if infection worsens or resists treatment with root canal therapy and antibiotics, tooth extraction can help to stop the infection from spreading.

Sometimes patients run risk of infection due to circumstances that compromise the immune system (such as chemotherapy). To avoid infection, a tooth may be removed as a precautionary measure.

Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a common oral health problem that may also cause teeth to loosen and require removal. This infection weakens the tooth’s support system by entering the tissues and bones.

The Process of Tooth Extraction

Tooth extractions are performed by dentists with special training in the procedure. A local anesthetic may be used to numb the area around the tooth being pulled. In the case of several teeth, a general anesthetic may be given to the patient. We take every precaution to ensure your safety and comfort throughout the procedure.

After the tooth is removed, a few stitches may be placed to stop bleeding, but often a gauze pad suffices.

Recovery

Recovery usually lasts a few days. Painkillers may be prescribed and ice bags applied. You should follow your dentist’s advice regarding diet and activity during this time. We will discuss all details with you, including your health history prior to any treatment to ensure your wellbeing at every stage.

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