Tooth Extraction in West Seneca
Experienced West Seneca Dentist Providing Minimally Invasive Tooth Extraction Services Throughout WNY
Removing a tooth in its entirety from the mouth is a last resort, as there are numerous medical complications that can result from a tooth extraction.
In the event that a tooth cannot be saved, the only solution is tooth extraction. This process differs from dental avulsion, in which a tooth is cleanly and clearly knocked out of its socket after a strong impact; tooth extraction refers to the conscious and permanent removal of a tooth from the mouth by a dentist. Removing a tooth in its entirety from the mouth is a last resort, as there are numerous medical complications that can result from an extraction. But tooth removal can in fact prevent a multitude of further issues from arising or worsening, and in conjunction with antibiotic treatment as necessary, extraction of a tooth can have benefits that outweigh the risks.
A tooth extraction may be implicated when a tooth sustains damage, whether due to an external force or an internal issue. Dental caries (cavities) can result from a buildup of acid-producing bacteria on the enamel, the outer surface of a tooth, and once the enamel becomes thin enough, the bacteria can invade the inner layers of a tooth, spreading infection down to the roots of the tooth and even the blood vessels, nerves, and bone below. Dental caries can result from improper or negligent oral hygiene practices, a genetic predisposition, or a fracture or chip due to a minor head injury. Once bacteria have penetrated the surface of a tooth, it is difficult to remove without the intervention of a dental health care professional, and only early intervention has a high success rate of effectively curing the decay and restoring the tooth to its original health and condition. When a crack or a cavity is left untreated, though, the infection can spread throughout the interior of a tooth, and after a certain point, a dentist is limited in her or his ability to repair the tooth.
Other factors that may necessitate the extraction of a tooth include gum disease and maldevelopment. A common gum disease called gingivitis may develop due to infrequent and unexhaustive brushing with toothpaste, flossing, and rinsing with fluoridated mouthwash. When left untreated, either through a lack of improvement in dental care practices or refusal to receive attention from a dentist, the otherwise reversible gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a manageable but gradually worsening disease that weakens and diminishes the amount of bone below the gum line. As the osseous tissues of the jawbones deteriorate, teeth can become looser and looser in their sockets. The teeth themselves may be perfectly healthy, but with insufficient bone beneath them, they will be unable to firmly remain in place.
A similar condition to affect the gums is the eruption (growing in) of wisdom teeth, which begin to appear in most adults when they reach the age of 21 years. Wisdom teeth were evolutionarily advantageous in our ancestors, who required multiple teeth to assist in the grinding of wild plant material. Since the domestication of crops and wildlife, though, wisdom teeth have become less and less necessary to human survival and nutrition. Just like the appendix, unfortunately, they still appear in modern humans. Unlike the appendix, their arrival is typically painful; the average mandible (lower jaw) has decreased in size, leaving insufficient space for wisdom teeth to erupt and forcing them to press against the molars. To prevent damage to one’s bite and the risk of infection, wisdom teeth must often be pulled.
During a tooth extraction, a dentist will first administer a strong anesthetic in order to prevent any pain from being felt. If the tooth is below the gum line, the dentist will have to remove the gum in order to access the tooth. Using forceps, an instrument resembling tweezers or pliers with scissor-like ends, the dentist will force the tooth to move from side to side, weakening its attachment to the jawbone, and ultimately pulling it entirely out of the jaw. More stubborn teeth may have to be sectioned, that is, cut into smaller pieces using a small drill, before they can be extracted. The resulting gap in the gum and jawbone will fill with blood and clot, and stitches may be required to reduce the risk of bacterial infection. For several days after the procedure, eating soft foods, resting, and taking painkillers are recommended.