Sooner or later, your Grand Parkway Smiles dentist may tell you that you (or your child) need a tooth extraction, meaning one or more teeth have to be removed. When does this procedure become necessary and what does it mean for your oral health?
WHAT IS A TOOTH EXTRACTION?
Dentists don’t particularly like performing tooth extractions and typically only use them as a last resort when all attempts to save the natural tooth have been exhausted or simply come too late.
Preserving the natural tooth whenever possible is a top priority for your Grand Parkway Smiles dentist because teeth do so much more than just help you bite and chew – they help maintain a healthy jaw bone, allow you to speak properly, and give you an attractive smile. Once a permanent tooth has been extracted, some type of prosthesis is typically needed to maintain the original functions of the tooth (or teeth) that is no longer there.
Possible replacement options after tooth extraction or tooth loss include:
- Removable dentures: Maintain chewing/biting function but do not support bone health; may or may not look and feel natural, depending on materials used; special cleaning agents and regular maintenance/adjustments are needed
- Dental bridges: Maintain chewing/biting function and keep adjacent teeth from drifting into the gap the natural tooth left behind; uphold an attractive, natural appearance of your smile; no special maintenance needed
- Dental implants: Maintain chewing/biting function, keep adjacent teeth from shifting, support a healthy jaw bone, look and feel like natural teeth, and don’t require special cleaning products or maintenance
Patients who undergo tooth extraction are encouraged to discuss the best possible tooth replacement option with their Richmond dentist.
WHO NEEDS A TOOTH EXTRACTION?
Patients typically undergo tooth extraction for a variety of reasons, depending on their age.
- Baby or milk teeth
Young children’s baby teeth usually fall out on their own when the time is right. In some cases, however, your Grand Parkway Smiled pediatric dentist may recommend tooth extraction – for example, when a stubborn tooth won’t let go and refuses to make room for a permanent tooth that’s trying to come in.
- Wisdom teeth
One of the most common types of tooth extractions dentists perform is the removal of wisdom teeth. Adolescents and young adults may need wisdom tooth removal when the wisdom teeth become impacted (meaning they grown in crookedly), become decayed (brushing in the very back of the mouth can be difficult) and/or cause pain. Wisdom teeth are not replaced by prosthetics as they are not needed for healthy function of your child’s bite.
- Permanent teeth
As we age, general wear and tear, as well as lax oral hygiene and certain medications, can make teeth more susceptible to advanced tooth decay which, in turn, may necessitate extraction if not addressed promptly. While your dentist will make every attempt to save your natural tooth, extraction may be necessary to ease pain and protect surrounding teeth from disease.
Roughhousing among kids or participation in sports may lead to injuries that can also result in a tooth needing to be pulled.
WHY CHOOSE GRAND PARKWAY SMILES IN RICHMOND FOR TOOTH EXTRACTIONS?
One of the reasons people delay dentist visits is fear. Fear of the dentist’s tools, fear of being judged, and/or fear of pain caused by potential treatment. At Grand Parkway Smiles, we address your anxiety by offering a full range of sedation options that ensure your comfort throughout any procedure – from root canals to tooth extractions and more.
We encourage you to come see your Richmond dentist when you first experience tooth pain. Don’t wait! In most cases, we can arrange for emergency dental services the same day. Through early intervention we may be able to save your damaged or decayed tooth and prevent the need for a tooth extraction altogether.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A TOOTH EXTRACTION?
Your Grand Parkway Smiles dentist will ask you to return to the office for a follow-up visit to ensure the surgical site has healed properly. Meanwhile, be sure to follow your discharge and at-home instructions, and take any pain or antibiotic medication as directed.
The good news? Your damaged or decayed tooth will no longer cause you pain.
Speak with your dentist to find out which tooth replacement option is right for you so you can restore your smile to its former brilliance and regain optimal oral health.
Questions about tooth extraction in Richmond? Contact us for a consultation by calling 832-222-0016 today!
Loved this dentist! So quick, nice and informative... I was dreading taking my 21 month old daughter to her first appointment but they were so helpful and sweet! Highly recommend this office