Tooth Extraction

If a tooth has been broken or damaged by decay, your dentist will try to fix it with a filling, crown or other treatment. However, if there’s too much damage for the tooth to be repaired, it will have to be extracted.

Below Are Examples Or Other Reasons Why You Might Need An Extraction:

Some people have extra teeth that block other teeth from coming in.

People getting braces may need teeth extracted to create room for the teeth that are being moved into place.

People receiving radiation to the head and neck may need to have teeth in the field of radiation extracted.

People receiving cancer drugs may develop infected teeth. These drugs weaken the immune system, increasing the risk of infection. Infected teeth may need to be extracted.

People receiving an organ transplant may need some teeth extracted if the teeth could become sources of infection after the transplant. People with organ transplants have a high risk of infection because they must take drugs that decrease or suppress the immune system.

Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are often extracted either before or after they come in. They commonly come in during the late teens or early 20s. These teeth often get stuck in the jaw (impacted) and do not come in. They need to be removed if they are decayed or cause pain. Some wisdom teeth are blocked by other teeth or may not have enough room to come in completely. This can irritate the gum, causing pain and swelling. In this case, the tooth must be removed.

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We will ask about your medical and dental histories. He or she will take an X-ray of the area to help plan the best way to remove the tooth. If you are having all of your wisdom teeth removed, you may have a panoramic X-ray. This X-ray takes a picture of all of your teeth at once.

It shows several things that are helpful to guide an extraction:

The relationship of your wisdom teeth to your other teeth
The upper teeth's relationship to your sinuses
The lower teeth's relationship to a nerve in the jawbone that gives feeling to your lower jaw, lower teeth, lower lip and chin. This nerve is called the inferior alveolar nerve.
Any infections, tumors or bone disease that may be present

Some health care professionals prescribe antibiotics to be taken before and after surgery. This practice varies by the dentist or oral surgeon. Antibiotics are more likely to be given if:

You have infection at the time of surgery
You have a weakened immune system
You will have a long surgery
You have specific medical condition(s)

If you're going to have conscious sedation, you will be told not to eat or drink anything for six or eight hours before the procedure. You also should make sure you have someone available to drive you home after the surgery.

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How It's Done

Here are the types of wisdom teeth, in order from easiest to remove to most complex to remove:

Erupted (already in the mouth)
Soft-tissue impacted (just under the gum)
Partial-bony impacted (partially stuck in the jaw)
Full-bony impacted (completely stuck in the jaw)

Please note, if your wisdom teeth are tilted sideways, they can be harder to remove than if they are vertical.

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