A: A tooth extraction is simply the removal of a tooth. Many times, it can be done using a local anesthetic. If we have to do a lot, we might recommend some form of sedation.
We do wisdom teeth, which can cause problems with the gums, cause cysts and infections. So, many times we recommend wisdom tooth extractions.
When other teeth are removed, we may recommend replacing them at some point with dental implants.
Sometimes we may move teeth with braces after a tooth is removed. So, basically, a tooth extraction is the simple removal of a tooth. Sometimes, afterward, we recommend some sort of replacement, or bone grafting, or other procedures with that.
Tooth extraction is a dental procedure that no one ever looks forward to. Normally, it shouldn’t even be necessary in your lifetime. However, a tooth extraction in some cases is indeed needed. Cases such as an irreparable cavity, wisdom teeth, a broken tooth, and other situations.
Depending on your specific case you may need a simple extraction or a surgical one. Simple extractions cost less and heal fairly fast. Surgical extractions are more complex, cost more, and take longer to heal.
Comparing Simple & Surgical Tooth Extraction
As mentioned, dentists perform two kinds of tooth extraction: simple or surgical. Simple is more common and only requires a local anesthetic. Most dentists in Corpus perform simple extractions right in their office. However, when it comes to surgical tooth extraction, some don’t—they refer to an oral surgeon instead.
At Vela Dental we offer surgical extractions in-house although it does require some form of sedation. It is a more invasive surgery than a simple extraction that requires more recovery time and pain management.
Dr. Vela determines which type of tooth extraction you need based on several factors:
- Visibility of the tooth
- Whether the tooth is impacted (wisdom teeth)
- Evidence of A hidden root
Reasons For Having A Tooth Extracted
There are many reasons you may need a tooth extracted and some situations are direr than others:
- Large cavities: Large amounts of tooth decay can lead to pulpitis which is an inflammation and infection of the pulp (tooth tissue). This condition causes toothache and if left untreated will be irreversible, necessitating extraction.
- Wisdom teeth: Third molars, more commonly known as wisdom teeth can come in abnormally and cause issues such as crowding. These teeth can also develop cavities that may cause pain. Wisdom teeth that are impacted are prone to infection which can lead to a host of other issues. Most people, if needed, have their wisdom teeth pulled between age 17-25.
- Cracked/broken tooth: Sometimes if the damage isn’t too severe, the tooth can be repaired. However if not, then an extraction would be in order.
- Periodontal disease: Also known as gum disease, when it’s advanced it can cause loose teeth within your mouth. These weakened teeth will cause more issues if an extraction is not performed.
- Crowding: Sometimes, your mouth simply isn’t large enough to handle all the teeth. Removing a tooth and using braces to shift teeth back together may free up room.
- Overlap: This is when your permanent teeth come in before your baby teeth fall out. The medical condition is referred to as hyperdontia and is quite common.
- Infection: When bad bacteria spread into the tooth root too deep, a root canal is not effective at that point. The tooth has to be removed.
- Compromised immunity: Patients with vulnerable immune systems from conditions such as diabetes or cancer have a hard time avoiding decay. That sometimes leads to an extraction to prevent further damage.
Preparing For A Tooth Extraction
When it is determined that you need a tooth extraction, you will need to inform us about all medications or supplements you currently take. We especially need to know if you take any of the following:
- Anticoagulants (blood thinners), which you may need to put a hold on before extraction
- Immune-suppressing drugs
Dr. Vela will also need to know about any medical conditions you have that may hinder the procedure. Conditions that tend to have the most significant impact on the success of tooth extraction include:
- Heart disease or defects
- Bleeding or clotting issues
- Diabetes (Type I and II)
- Thyroid disorder
- Liver conditions
- Kidney conditions
- Joint replacements
On the day that you are scheduled for your procedure:
- If you are needing IV sedation, be sure to wear a short-sleeved blouse or shirt.
- Fast at least 6-8 hours before your appointment if receiving IV sedation.
- Make sure you have someone you trust to give you a ride home if you’re getting any type of sedation. We cannot allow you to drive yourself home.
- Also with sedation, have someone, preferably your ride who will help you until full recovery from the anesthesia.
- Do not smoke—this can seriously increase your chance of problems.
- If you’ve had a cold or nausea a week before your procedure, let us know as rescheduling might be needed. Additionally, you can change anesthesia options to accommodate.
Your Options For Anesthesia
Most simple extractions don’t warrant anesthesia as a local numbing anesthetic is used instead. Surgical extractions will need some form of sedation. However, some patients due to anxiety may opt for a combination of the local anesthetic and nitrous even for simple extractions. If that isn’t enough, you can request one of the sedation methods below:
- Mild sedation: Nitrous oxide and or a gentle oral sedative. You should be able to drive home after.
- Moderate sedation: Oral or IV administered valium or some other moderate sedative. You will need arranged transportation home.
- Deep sedation: IV sedation administered given by a licensed anesthesiologist. You cannot drive home as the effects are longer lasting than any other sedation method.
What To Expect During the Procedure
With a simple extraction you will feel pressure but no pain, unless you opted for sedation—then you won’t feel a thing. If you do feel any discomfort or pain other than the pressure, let Dr. Vela know immediately.
Simple Tooth Extraction
With a simple extraction:
- A local anesthetic will be injected into the gum surrounding the tooth.
- Using a special tool, Dr. Vela will loosen the tooth.
- Using forceps, he will pull out the tooth once it is fully dislodged from the socket.
- Bone plates surrounding the extraction of wisdom teeth are pushed together and filed to encourage healing. With other teeth, this is not done as an implant might be placed later on.
- If you plan on getting a dental implant later, a bone graft will be performed instead.
- The socket is rinsed clean with a saline solution.
Surgical Tooth Extraction
Surgical extractions vary a bit from a simple one in that:
- A local anesthetic is injected into the gum around the tooth.
- If IV sedation is opted for, the IV will be inserted and the sedative put on a drip.
- Dr. Vela will make a small cut into the gum line to gain access to the tooth to loosen and remove it.
- Gum tissue is pulled back to expose the bone beneath.
- If the tooth is impacted, a Dremel may be used to remove some bone to expose the tooth.
- With an elevator instrument, Dr. Vela will remove the exposed tooth successfully.
- The socket will be rinsed with a saline solution.
- The extraction site will be sutured closed.
- Steroids may be inserted into the IV drip to minimize post-op inflammation.
Do You Have A Tooth That You Need Removed?
If you’re struggling with a failed tooth that needs to be extracted, don’t wait any longer. You could be causing yourself more problems. Contact us today and let’s get you in and taken care of.