Wisdom teeth are also known as the third molars, and they reside in the very back of the mouth of both the upper and lower jaws. For most people, wisdom teeth are removed in the late teen years or early adulthood before they have a chance to break through the gums. If they are not removed, wisdom teeth can cause pain, damage, and affect alignment. At Smiles by the Sea in Hampton, NH, we perform both emergency and routine wisdom tooth extraction to protect your oral health.
Reasons for a Tooth Extraction
Getting a tooth pulled is a big deal, so you need a big reason for it to happen. Typically, extractions are called for when another procedure isn’t enough – like root canal therapy – or a tooth is so badly infected or compromised that it cannot be adequately repaired with a filling, crown, or other dental restoration.
Extraction provides immediate relief from problems like:
- Severe tooth decay
- Tooth infection
- Broken tooth root
- Advanced gum disease
- Bone fracture
- Jaw or mouth trauma
- Impacted wisdom tooth
The Tooth Extraction Procedure
Tooth extraction is a routine dental procedure, but it involves far more than one good yank with a pair of pliers. The process for fully removing a tooth requires several steps. After all, each tooth is more than just its crown – it has an established root system that must also be carefully and thoroughly removed. Even teeth that are damaged, infected, or loose may still be firmly lodged in the socket.
The procedure begins with the administering of a numbing agent so there is no discomfort during the extraction. If you feel you will need additional calming measures, laughing gas sedation is available.
You can expect the extraction to proceed something like this, but steps may vary depending on the unique condition of your tooth:
- Your dentist will move the tooth around in the socket to separate it from its ligament.
- There may be snapping sounds as the tooth breaks from the socket.
- You may feel pressure during the procedure but you will not feel any pain.
- Once the tooth is removed, the infected tissues will be removed too.
- The tooth socket is washed thoroughly and inspected to ensure no bone fragments are left behind.
- The extraction site is closed.
After the procedure, you will be sent home with detailed instructions about how to care for the extraction site, so it heals quickly and properly. Surface healing at the extraction site will take only a few weeks but, depending on the oral health problem the extraction solved, it may take months for your mouth and jawbone to fully heal. Your dentist will closely monitor this area to ensure that it is healing properly.
Dental Restorations After Tooth Extraction
At some point, either before or after your extraction, you will have a conversation with your dentist about the best way to replace the tooth that is being removed. It’s incredibly important to fill the hole left by a missing tooth to ensure that alignment stays in place, teeth do not shift, and the jawbone does not deteriorate and affect your face shape. Even a molar in the back of the mouth that seems inconsequential should be replaced so your smile is complete in form and function.
The most common way to replace a tooth lost to extraction include:
- Dental implant: Implants replace both tooth root and crown for a permanent, natural-looking solution. The manmade root fuses with the jawbone for a secure, long-lasting repair.
- Dental bridge: If one or two teeth are pulled in the same area, a dental bridge will attach to neighboring teeth and be anchored in place with porcelain crowns for a complete restoration.
- Partial denture: A partial denture can be implant-supported or remain as a removable appliance. Either way, it fills in the holes left behind by extracted teeth.
Get a Tooth Extraction in Hampton, NH
At Smiles by the Sea in Hampton, NH, patient comfort comes first no matter what you have going on with your oral health. If you need a tooth extraction, we will make the procedure as comfortable as possible and help relieve you of pain and discomfort. Contact us if you have a dental emergency or suspect you need a tooth extraction.