At Alpha Dental, we extract a tooth when we know there is no longer adequate tooth structure to allow saving the tooth. Another reason for extracting a tooth is advanced gum disease.
A tooth might be extracted because:
- it is infected past the point of being saved
- it has decayed to a point where it can no longer be restored
- the root of the tooth is fractured and can no longer be restored
Extractions are done only when the tooth can no longer be saved with a filling, a root canal or a crown.
For You To Know Before You Have an Extraction
- You may often times need to be on a soft diet for several days.
- You will need to make an appointment 10 days after the extraction to have sutures to be removed.
Wisdom teeth are the last molars in the back of the mouth. There are generally four wisdom teeth: two upper and two lower. Wisdom teeth are molars whose function is to chew food in the mouth. They generally erupt during our late teens or early twenties.
There are several scenarios that are helpful to know with regard to wisdom teeth in your mouth. These conditions may or may not require removal of your wisdom teeth. It is important to note that a person can also have a combination of these conditions. If a condition exists where there is not adequate room in the mouth, wisdom teeth can cause the teeth in front of them to change and shift resulting in the shifting of previously straight teeth. Wisdom teeth should generally be removed prior to orthodontic treatment so that crowding of straightened teeth does not occur. Although infrequent, some people never develop their wisdom teeth.
Potential Wisdom Teeth Scenarios
- Four teeth have erupted and there is adequate space for them in the mouth. They erupt in a normal functioning position. Removal of the wisdom teeth is not necessary. However, their natural, yet difficult position, does require special attention to brushing in order to keep them cavity-free and gums healthy.
- Four teeth have erupted and are not functional because they have erupted in the wrong direction, for example, sideways. When this occurs, they need to be extracted before problems arise.
- Four teeth have erupted but only a small portion of each tooth appears above the gum line. This is usually due to a lack of space for the wisdom teeth in the mouth. When this condition occurs, the teeth are very susceptible to decay/infection and should be extracted.
- Four teeth have not erupted because they are covered/embedded in bone. In this scenario, they can become infected and should be removed before there is pain, swelling or cysts form.
For You To Know Before You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
- Wisdom teeth removal may require up to three office visits, i.e consultation, surgical appointment, follow-up appointment to remove sutures. The number of office visits depends on the individual situation.
- We remove wisdom teeth using a local anesthetic. Although you may feel pressure during the procedure, you should not feel pain.
- You will need someone to drive you home after this procedure.
- If you are under 18 years of age, we require that a parent be present during the entire procedure as well as to drive you home.
- You will be given post-operative instructions to inform you of what to expect during recovery.