Modern dentistry always strives to protect and preserve natural teeth. However, there are some cases when the tooth is better off removed particularly when an attempt at restoration wouldn’t be successful. In such cases, your dentist will likely recommend tooth extraction to get rid of the problematic tooth and protect the other teeth from any potential of spreading damage and decay.
When Do I Need Tooth Extraction?
You will need to get your tooth extracted if your tooth:
- Has a very large internal decay. Internal decay is difficult to treat because it can spread without you even knowing it. The only way to detect internal decay is through X-ray imaging. However, not everyone gets dental X-rays regularly, thus allowing internal decay to progress without detection. When internal decay has spread extensively down to the roots of a tooth, it may be necessary to remove it.
- Has become reinfected after root canal treatment. Root canal treatment removes the pulp and cleans out the root canals before filling them with an artificial material. However, in some cases when the decay has already reached the bottom of the tooth roots, the infection may recur and the previously treated tooth may become swollen and decayed again. Although a second root canal treatment may sometimes be effective, it can be safer and less expensive to get the tooth extracted instead.
- Suffered damage after a powerful blow. If your tooth is fractured and the damage is so severe no amount of conventional dental restoration can save it, it will need to be extracted. This is usually recommended when the tooth pulp has become exposed and the roots have been broken or separated from the crown.
- Is surrounded by infected gum tissue. If the gums are infected, no matter how healthy your tooth is, it will be affected by gum recession. Sometimes, in order to make way for effective gum treatment, the tooth needs to be removed. This is only recommended when the tooth has absolutely no chance of surviving within the infected gum tissues.
Are There Alternatives to Extraction?
It is possible to avoid extracting the tooth if other treatments can save it and prevent the problem from worsening. Some alternative solutions include:
- Root canal treatment. If only the tooth pulp is infected and the rest of the tooth can be saved, root canal treatment is the best solution.
- Root amputation/resection. For teeth with multiple roots but only one root has damage or decay, root amputation can be ideal. The procedure cuts off one of the roots.
- Dental bonding. Bonding can restore the structure of a damaged tooth, but it can only work on a small area.
- Dental crowns. A dental crown can replace a large portion of damaged tooth material, but it cannot protect or save the roots.
These alternatives are not always applicable to every dental situation. Our dentists will be the one to explain which treatments have a higher chance of protecting your overall dental health. If tooth extraction can provide more benefits than risks as compared to all other options, it will ultimately be the final recommendation.
The Tooth Extraction Procedure
Tooth extraction is quite simple and straightforward. However, it may become complicated depending on the patient’s dental and overall health condition. For those who have medical issues like diabetes and heart disease, special precautions are needed to ensure that the procedure isn’t affected by and doesn’t interfere with the procedure.
Before the extraction process, the tooth needs to be prepared. If there is internal decay, a rubber dam will be applied over your mouth to protect your other teeth from infectious debris. A local anesthetic will be injected around the area where the tooth is. Sometimes, patients with anxiety issues or low pain tolerance are given an intravenous anesthetic to ensure their comfort throughout the procedure.
A small incision may be made on the gums to give access to the roots of the affected tooth. Once the roots are exposed, the dentist will use a hand tool to uproot the tooth and loosen it from the gums. Some bleeding may occur which is completely normal. Cotton gauze will be applied to the extraction site to keep it pressurized and control bleeding.
Before you leave, the dentist will give aftercare instructions to prevent infections and optimize your recovery process. You need to have a companion take you home because you will not be able to drive with the anesthesia still in your system.
How Do I Restore My Extracted Tooth?
Having a missing tooth can be uncomfortable, especially if it’s a front tooth. You have the option to restore it using any of the following:
A dental bridge is specifically designed to replace a single missing tooth. It is made up of two crowns with a pontic or false tooth in between. The crowns are attached to the adjacent teeth and hold the pontic in place.
Dentures are better suited for multiple missing teeth, but single-tooth dentures are also available. These come on acrylic bases which fit onto the gums with porcelain false teeth.
These highly advanced prosthetics replicate the natural structure of teeth. The implant serves as the tooth root which holds the porcelain crown in place. Implants are the only restorations that can restore both the appearance and functionality of real teeth.
How to Get Tooth Extractions from Coos Bay
If you have a painful tooth that may need an extraction, please give us a call at (541) 756-0155 or send us a message using our online contact form here. Our dentists have performed hundreds of tooth extractions and restorations. They will help you overcome your dental problems and also get your beautiful smile back.
You can also visit our dental office at 2070 Virginia Ave, North Bend, Oregon. Our dental team will be happy to provide any information you need about our services, as well as our pricing and payment solutions.