Your dentist is fully committed to helping you to retain your natural teeth for as long as possible. However, there are occasions where the best course of action is to extract a tooth. This isn’t a decision that is taken lightly, and your dentist will only do this with your permission and when there is no viable alternative. While some extractions are planned a fair way in advance, sometimes a tooth needs to be removed without delay.
There are several different situations in which your dentist may recommend that you undergo an emergency tooth extraction. These are:
As the last teeth to erupt, which usually doesn’t happen until our late teenager years or early adulthood, wisdom teeth are renowned for causing problems. One of the most common is that there simply isn’t enough space in the jaw to accommodate them. When this happens, the wisdom teeth can push existing teeth out of alignment so that they can force themselves through, or the tooth can become stuck in the gum.
Most wisdom tooth problems develop very slowly, but sometimes you can experience severe pain or infection that means that the tooth needs to be dealt with right away. You may first need to have an x-ray to confirm that your wisdom tooth is impacted and to see how it’s affecting your adjacent teeth.
Both consistent pressure and a sudden impact onto your teeth have the potential to cause very real damage, including fractures. A fracture is when a crack appears in the tooth, weakening it or causing one or more sections to break off. If you have previously had root canal treatment or a very large filling, this can also weaken the tooth enough for a fracture to develop. Unfortunately, if the fracture occurs even partially below the gum line, you’ll almost certainly need to have the tooth removed, and your dentist will want to do this as quickly as possible to prevent further issues from occurring.
Decay occurs when you fail to remove plaque from the teeth quickly enough. The bacteria found in the plaque release acid, and this starts to erode the enamel of the teeth, causing areas of decay to develop. The longer decay is left untreated, the worse it can get. If there are more areas of decay than healthy tooth, and the tooth cannot be repaired using a filling, crown, or root canal treatment, an extraction is the only viable course of action.
Periodontitis is the name given to the most severe stage of gum disease at which point the condition attacks the tooth-supporting structures. The gums will start to recede, pulling away from the teeth and exposing the roots which can become decayed and infected. If this happens, you may have no choice but to get the affected tooth removed.
There is only so much space in the jaw and if you have too many teeth or your jaw is particularly small, you may be recommended to have any extras removed. This will enable your dentist to create a straight smile that is healthy, easier to keep clean, and looks fantastic.
An emergency extraction is performed in exactly the same way as a planned extraction. Where possible, your dentist will keep it simple and try to remove the tooth whole by loosening it and pulling it from the root. However, if there are complications like impaction or trauma, it may be necessary to perform a surgical removal. This could involve cutting open the gum or removing sections of the jawbone so that all pieces of the tooth can be removed.
If you would like more information about emergency dental extractions, please visit the experienced dental team at Midtown Dental Center in Atlanta, GA. Call (404) 874-0800 to schedule an appointment today.