Although permanent teeth can last a lifetime, teeth that have become damaged or decayed may need to be removed or extracted.
In many cases a diseased tooth can be saved with root canal treatment, root resection, gum graft or other conservative treatments. We always recommend the preservation of the tooth, so a tooth is only pulled when we are certain it cannot be saved.
When is it necessary to remove a tooth?
– in the case of severe tooth damage, mostly due to breakage or extensive decay, when other treatment methods can no longer be performe
– if the inflammation of the tooth endangers adjacent teeth
– in the event of periodontal disease, when, as a result of gum atrophy, the supporting structures of the teeth are damaged to an extent that the tooth moves significantly
– in the case of malpositioned or non-functioning teeth (when there are no opposing teeth to bite against)
– before orthodontic treatment in order to create perfect alignment
– in case of extra teeth, when they block other teeth from erupting
– wisdom teeth often need to be removed, see there
What’s the process of a tooth extraction?
The first step is a panoramic X-ray which allows the dentist to see the exact position of the tooth. There are two types of extractions:
Simple extraction, during which the dentist grips and loosens the tooth with a forceps and pulls it out. The procedure is carried out with local anaesthesia.
Surgical extraction is performed in more complicated cases, for example when the tooth is broken under the gumline or hasn’t fully erupted, as is often the case with wisdom teeth. The gum should be cut and pulled down to grab the tooth. Sometimes the tooth has to be cut into pieces for an easier removal. The procedure can be carried out with local anesthesia or under sedation, depending on the situation.
Once the tooth is out, some stitches may be necessary to accelerate healing and a gauze might be placed on the wound to bite on for some time in order to reduce bleeding.
What to expect after a tooth extraction?
Once the anaeshtetic wears off you are allowed to drink and eat, but it is better to start with mashed food.
Following a tooth extraction, some swelling and pain is normal, so you might be advised to put an ice pack on your cheek and to take pain relievers. In the case of a surgical tooth removal, you may be advised to take antibiotics for a few days.
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