Tooth extraction is a dental procedure that can remove the tooth from its socket in the jaw bone. Dental extractions are most commonly performed for wisdom teeth, which sometimes emerge only part way or not at all.
If a tooth is impacted, meaning it is stuck beneath the gums or jawbone, a surgical extraction may be required.
To remove teeth, your dentist will first administer a local anesthetic to the treatment area. Then, your dentist will use forceps to grasp the tooth and remove it from the socket.
If more than one tooth is being removed, your dentist will use forceps to grip the teeth and rock them back and forth to loosen them before pulling them out.
After tooth extractions, you can expect to recover for three to five days. This gives you ample time to rest, focus on yourself, and let the extraction site heal. During this time, be sure to follow instructions from your dentist. They may recommend eating a diet of soft foods and avoiding strenuous activities such as exercise and heavy lifting.
After the extraction site has healed, your dentist will suggest restorative treatments such as dental implants, dental bridges, or dentures.
When a tooth won't erupt
When a tooth remains below the surface of the gums, it is known as an "impacted" tooth. In some cases, a tooth will not erupt at all. A tooth that remains beneath your gums can be painful and can cause problems with surrounding teeth. When this occurs, an extraction might be necessary.
When a tooth is loose
There are a variety of reasons a tooth may become loose. The tooth may be broken from trauma or decay. A root canal may fail. The bone that holds the tooth in place may have disappeared. In some cases, a loose tooth is asymptomatic.
When a tooth is loose, it's usually important to see a dentist. Some dentists may save the tooth, while others recommend an extraction.
When a tooth is cracked or fractured
If a tooth is cracked or fractured, it is best to have the tooth removed. The tooth will not heal properly, and it cannot be saved.
When a tooth has severe decay
An infection, or severe decay, could lead to a tooth being damaged beyond repair. In these cases, an extraction might be necessary.
When orthodontic treatment is necessary
When extractions are necessary for orthodontic treatments, it may be because the teeth are crowded.
To learn more about our dental services, call Lanham Smiles Family Dentistry at (301) 459-0914 or schedule an online appointment. You can also visit our dental office located at 9500 Annapolis Road, Suite C6, Lanham, MD 20706.