Oral Surgery and tooth extraction
When removing a tooth is truly inevitable
The dentist’s foremost responsibility is ensuring the long term health of the teeth of his/ her patients. In this regard, we offer our patients a wide variety of conservative and restorative treatments to include but not limited to dental fillings and root canal treatments.
This means that by default, tooth extraction is usually the last option.
However, there are some cases where tooth extraction is the inevitable (and sometimes the preferred) option.
Here are some of the reasons why your dentist may recommend extraction (removal of the teeth).
- Impacted “wisdom” teeth
Last molar teeth usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 20. In some individuals these continue to erupt up to the age 24. It is however not uncommon to encounter wisdom teeth that have not fully erupted long after their expected eruption sequence.
In most cases the wisdom teeth do not find enough space left in the jaw bone when they are erupting. This causes them to get stuck (or impacted). Sometimes the whole tooth is buried in bone; in other cases it is just a portion of the tooth that remains buried in bone. It is also common to find the teeth lying in a horizontal position.
In cases where part of the wisdom tooth in the mouth is covered by a flap of gum tissue food will often get stuck under the gum flap. If the food is not cleaned out, there will be infection around the wisdom tooth causing a lot of discomfort.
If you are having problems with an impacted wisdom tooth, the dentist will often times either remove the gum flap of tissue above the wisdom teeth and give you some antibiotics to control the infection.
If on assessment it is discovered that there’s no further eruption expected on the tooth, you will be advised to have the impacted wisdom teeth removed.
The removal of the impacted wisdom teeth is a surgical procedure called Disimpaction. It is the ultimate solution to problems with the wisdom teeth since their position at the back of the mouth and the shape of their roots limits the success of other treatments like root canal therapy.
- Grossly decayed teeth and Retained root fragments
For severely decayed teeth and broken root fragments that are not restorable or where the long term future is questionable, your dentist may advise you to remove them. You will be given other options regarding replacement of the extracted tooth in cases where it is absolutely necessary.
Space Creation before treatment with braces
It is sometimes necessary to remove teeth where there is crowding in the mouth to allow for aligning of the remaining teeth with braces before you can get that straight and beautiful smile.
Severely mobile tooth due to gum disease or trauma
Loose teeth can generally be immobilized and treated until they are firm and functional again. However teeth which are very loose may not attain a functional firmness even with splinting and these often have to be removed.
Milk teeth which have delayed to loosen
Delayed exfoliation (shedding) of milk teeth can result in blockage of their permanent successors. These are usually removed to pave way for the erupting permanent teeth.