Teeth Extraction – When no other options exist..
Why would I need a tooth extraction?
Essentially, there are three types of scenarios in which a tooth may require extraction.
- Firstly, if the tooth is simply beyond repair. This could mean that the tooth has suffered from serious decay or if it has been broken, abscessed or infected. Alternatively, it could be the gums around the tooth that have deteriorated, so that even if the tooth is repaired, the gums or bone around the tooth are not of the required quality to maintain a healthy tooth.
- Secondly, teeth may not to be extracted if they are crooked. For example, wisdom teeth that develop later in life can often grow crookedly as they try to push past existing teeth. These crooked teeth can often be difficult to clean and can cause problems with biting and chewing, so dentists sometimes choose to extract them.
- Finally, orthodontic treatment may involve extractions. The aim of orthodontic work is to realign and straighten teeth, so sometimes teeth will need to removed to create the space for the remaining teeth to grow into shape.
What are the alternatives to tooth extraction?
Normally, extraction of teeth is a last resort because it can lead to additional complications. For example, once a tooth is removed, the other teeth will shift to compensate for the missing tooth. This can cause problems with oral health and hygiene.
We endeavour to avoid extractions unless there is no other alternative available. If you are concerned about leaving unsightly gaps in your mouth when your teeth are removed, we will always offer options for the different types of replacement teeth available. including implants, bridges or dentures as it will fill the gap and stop the remaining teeth from moving.
Wisdom teeth – Sometime there just isn’t enough room in the mouth!
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth also known as the third molar tooth develop and grow later in life – normally in our late teens or early twenties. They are problematic because they are the last teeth to grow and usually there is no room left for wisdom teeth in the mouth This often means that as they try to squeeze their way into the mouth and get stuck or impacted causing tooth pain and jaw ache.
Why do we need them extracted?
Not all wisdom teeth need to be extracted. If there is space in your mouth then many will grow through naturally. You may still feel some pain as they emerge, but there is no need to automatically assume that you will need them taken out. At an initial visit to us, we can assess the position of the wisdom teeth and the need for removal. In many cases, the pain caused by wisdom teeth will disappear as they develop. Alternatively, it may simply be caused by trapped food around the new tooth – regular mouthwash or getting your teeth cleaned at the dental practice be the answer.
There are of course cases where wisdom teeth need to be removed. This could be because the wisdom teeth are impacted. The word ‘impacted’ is used to describe wisdom teeth which not allowed to come through properly and which therefore grow at an angle. Alternatively, teeth may need to be removed because they are already decayed (rotten). Wisdom teeth often suffer from rapid tooth decay as they are more awkward to clean with regular brushing. If this is the case, we will often refer patients to Dr. Harris, Specialist oral surgeon for assessment and removal. If a wisdom tooth is easy to remove, we will offer to carry this out at the practice.