While your dentist will always do everything possible to maintain your natural teeth, there is no getting away from the fact that sometimes, issues occur that mean that the best way to preserve your oral health and the rest of your smile is to remove problem teeth. Fortunately, you won’t be alone. Tooth loss is very common, and by the age of 50, most Americans will have lost an average of 12 permanent teeth. And thanks to innovations in dental technology, it is now easier than ever to replace missing teeth with very comfortable and natural-looking alternatives.
There are many reasons why someone may be recommended to have a dental extraction. Some of the most common include the following:
Irreparable damage to your teeth
Impacted wisdom tooth
Wherever possible, a dental extraction will take place using local anesthetic, either with or without sedation. This helps to avoid the side effects associated with a general anesthetic. It’s only in severely complex extractions, or when the procedure is to take place on a patient with specific cognitive or physical disabilities, where a general anesthetic may be considered.
Most teeth can be removed fairly easily in a non-surgical procedure. During this type of extraction, a tool called an elevator is used to rock the tooth back and forth in its socket to loosen it and break it from the root so that it can be removed. This causes minimal bleeding and trauma to the surrounding area. A surgical extraction may be necessary for cases where the tooth is impacted or broken. This involves an incision being placed into the gum, and occasionally the jawbone, to remove the tooth.