Oral care

Emergency Dental Solutions: When Extraction is Necessary

Getting a tooth pulled can be nerve-wracking and difficult, but it’s a standard procedure that’s done hundreds of times daily. Here, we’ll help you overcome your fears by explaining the process and listing the most common reasons for tooth extraction.

Emergency Dental Solutions
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What Is Extraction and What’s Involved?

Extraction or pulling is a procedure where a tooth is taken from its place in the jawbone. It sounds painful and intimidating, but it’s common and sometimes necessary for continued oral health. There are two extraction methods: simple and surgical. While simple extractions are done on visible, easily accessible teeth, the surgical emergency dental extraction is reserved for teeth that are broken, impacted, or hard to access.

Extractions are normally done under a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort. However, if you’re an anxious patient or are getting several teeth pulled, your dentist may use other sedation options for safety and comfort.

After an extraction, you may have minor swelling and bleeding at the removal site. Your dentist will offer aftercare tips, including dietary guidelines and pain management strategies that ensure full healing. Every patient is different, and it’s crucial to consult your dentist to determine if an extraction is appropriate for your oral care needs.

Now, let’s discuss the most common reasons for dental extraction:

Impaction

Impacted teeth are those that haven’t emerged from the gum line or have partially appeared. Tooth impaction has several causes, including overcrowding and teeth growing at unusual angles. Impaction is widespread among wisdom teeth because the jawbone isn’t big enough to accommodate them. For local patients, extraction is the safest way to manage the pain and discomfort of an impacted tooth.

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Breakage

When teeth break near or at the gum line, there may not be enough remaining structure to which a cap or crown can be attached. In cases like these, extraction is necessary. If you have a tooth that’s broken at the gum line, schedule an appointment with a dentist or oral surgeon.

Accidents and Injuries

Accidents are part of life, and they sometimes happen to our teeth. If you’re in an accident and your teeth are damaged, a dentist will do everything possible to preserve them. Crowns, veneers, and bridges are all great preservation options, but some teeth can’t be saved. Extraction is the treatment of last resort to preserve oral health after an accident.

Gum Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control, gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss. When left unaddressed, gum disease can be just as problematic as cavities and tooth decay. The latest stages of gum disease may lead to the deterioration of tissues, bones, and ligaments that support teeth. As these structures degenerate, teeth may become loose. If your teeth are loose and unstable because of advanced gum disease, extraction and tooth replacement treatment may be needed.

Overcrowding

Some dentists perform tooth extractions as part of a patient’s orthodontic treatment plan. If your teeth are significantly overcrowded, an orthodontist may suggest extractions to create more space for the safe alignment of remaining teeth. While it is safe and effective for patients of all ages, the extraction of overcrowded teeth is usually done on teens and children.

Stubborn Baby Teeth

Some patients have baby teeth that just won’t come out. While there are at-home tips, tricks, and strategies to get them out, DIY methods are ineffective at best and dangerous at worst. When dealing with stubborn baby teeth that are crowding adult teeth, seek help from a dentist.

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Tooth Decay

Dental decay is the world’s most common reason for extraction. Patients needing teeth pulled because of decay often avoid seeing dentists, skipping required exams and cleanings. It can take years for dental decay to become severe enough to cause tooth loss. Decay affects tooth enamel during its earliest stages, but it quickly becomes serious enough to damage the interior structure of teeth.

Once decay reaches the dentin and pulp, it creates a severe infection that may require treatment in the form of a root canal. The longer you go without treatment, the more widespread the infection and deterioration become. If decay progresses to the extent that a tooth can’t be saved, extraction and restoration treatment are the best options.

While tooth decay is devastating, it’s preventable. With cleanings and dental exams twice a year, your dentist can find and treat cavities long before extraction is needed.

Teeth That Can’t Be Fixed

Sometimes, patients need extractions when their teeth are unrepairable. This type of damage may happen when decay advances and affects tooth pulp, but it can also happen after an accident. If caught early enough, some teeth can be saved with root canal treatment—but that’s not always possible. When it is too late for tooth-saving treatment, an extraction will prevent damage and infection from spreading to other teeth.

The Extraction Process: What to Expect

Having a tooth pulled can be a frightening experience, but knowing what’s coming can help you prepare. Before pulling a tooth, the dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. In some cases, general anesthetics are used to prevent pain and help you sleep through the extraction.

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When teeth are impacted, dentists remove bone and gum tissue before using special tools to loosen teeth from the ligaments and bone holding them in place. Sometimes, stubborn teeth are removed piece by piece. After the extraction, you’ll be asked to bite down on a gauze pad to encourage clot formation and stop bleeding. The dentist may use self-dissolving stitches to close the incision and speed healing. While tooth extraction is a safe process, it may help to know what to expect.

Let a Dentist Determine if Extraction is Right for You

When teeth are damaged because of decay, gum disease, overcrowding, or an accident, a dentist can determine which steps to take. While dentists do everything possible to save patients’ teeth, it’s not always the best choice. When extractions are necessary, we’ll work with you to restore your smile, health, and self-confidence.

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