When a tooth is removed it is called a tooth extraction (also known as pulling a tooth). Tooth extractions often become necessary when there is tooth decay, gum disease or there is trauma to the mouth.
When possible, it is usually preferred to restore a tooth with a filling, crown or root canal first. However, tooth extractions are sometimes the best option.
Extractions are nothing to be embarrassed about; According to NIH, Adults in the United States age 20-64 have an average of 3.28 decayed or missing permanent teeth. Additionally, there are options such as bridges and implants, which can be performed after an extraction, and help from both a health and aesthetic standpoint.
If a tooth must be extracted, we’ll make the process as comfortable as possible by administering an anesthetic. Lyons Dental will do everything possible to make the experience as painless as possible and provide instructions for quick healing and to prevent future complications.
Surgical extractions are sometimes necessary for teeth that must be removed but cannot easily be accessed by the dentist. This includes situations where there is a broken or cracked tooth, or when a tooth is partially below the gum line (impacted). Like common extractions, you’ll be given a local anesthetic to make you comfortable during the procedure.
Most people have wisdom teeth but can’t keep them clean or don’t have room in their mouths for their wisdom teeth to completely break through their gums. Sometimes, wisdom teeth can partially break through, leaving a small space for decay to set in. Tooth decay can infect the tooth and surrounding areas, and often causes substantial pain. This is often referred to as impacted wisdom teeth.
In some more complicated cases, patients may be referred to another oral surgeon who specializes in wisdom teeth extractions. In these situations, Lyons Dental will do our best to help ease the pain, and provide a referral to a trusted oral surgeon in the area.
The most common reasons for tooth loss include advanced periodontal disease, extensive tooth decay, and facial trauma. According to statistics, gum disease is responsible for close to 70% of tooth loss in adults. Although less frequent than the preceding three reasons, it should also be noted that specific diseases, drugs, smoking, and poor nutrition contribute to the risk of tooth loss.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that in the United States, an average of 12 teeth (including the wisdom teeth) are lost by the age of 50. Also, 26% of adults between 65 and 74 years of age have lost all their teeth.
Every patient and every situation is different. However, when a tooth and the surrounding tissues are numbed with a local anesthetic, you should only expect to feel a bit of pressure, but no pain as the tooth is being loosened from the surrounding tissues and extracted. For patients who are apprehensive and for some surgical extractions, our office will discuss our options in dental sedation to provide further relaxation and reduce any sense of discomfort.
While it's normal to feel some tenderness and swelling following an extraction, the degree of these sensations can vary. It mostly depends on the complexity of the extraction and the body's response to the procedure. We'll recommend or prescribe the appropriate pain medication to help ensure your comfort and give you specific instructions for maximum effectiveness and safety.
Typically, the recovery period following a simple extraction is shorter than a surgical extraction. However, a patient's overall health, habits, and the size and location of the tooth, and other variables can influence recovery and healing. To speed up the recovery and avoid any complications, patients must follow the given at-home instructions diligently. We'll carefully review what to expect following your procedure and go over your post-op instructions.
Smoking interferes with blood clot formation, which is an essential first step in the healing process. Blot clot formation not only provides a protective layer to cover the underlying exposed bone and nerve endings, but it also supports the growth of new tissue. Cigarette smoke also contains chemical toxins that can disrupt the healing process and lead to problems such as continued inflammation, infection, or dry socket.
In a very small percentage of cases, a condition known as dry socket can develop in the aftermath of a dental extraction. This painful condition can arise when the blood clot in the extraction site doesn't form properly or gets dislodged. With dry socket, you may experience throbbing pain and symptoms such as bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth. As skilled providers of care, our office will provide immediate treatment to alleviate your discomfort and promote healing.
The last teeth in your mouth to develop, wisdom teeth often do not have enough room to fully erupt or may be positioned in the wrong direction. These issues can affect your dental health as well as overall wellbeing. While some individuals never develop all their wisdom teeth, and a few have sufficient space for them, there are many people with partially or fully impacted third molars. Our office will monitor the development, position, and health of your wisdom teeth and will advise you if and when extractions are indicated.
After a tooth is removed, bone-grafting material is sometimes placed in the socket to promote healing and encourage new bone development. This procedure is often performed to support the eventual and successful placement of a dental implant.
At the office of Lyons Dental, we strive to make dental care affordable and accessible. Depending on the type or complexity of the extraction and other variables, the cost of the procedure can vary. Based on our diagnostic findings, our office will inform you of the healthiest choices in care, explain the fees, discuss insurance coverage, and explain your payment options.
Many dental plans offer some level of coverage for tooth extractions. We'll advise you if your plan covers the full cost of the procedure and if there is any out-of-pocket expense. Our business office will work with you to maximize your insurance benefits as much as possible while helping you minimize any out-of-pocket expenses.