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Tooth Extraction

Dentists do everything they can to save a natural tooth, and tooth extraction is never a preferred course of action, but there are times when it is necessary to protect a patient’s overall health. There are also times when it’s important to extract a tooth in order to allow for braces or to remove wisdom teeth, which can be the only course of action to eliminate overcrowding and a misaligned bite.

At Bright Now! Dental, we understand tooth extractions can be stressful. That’s why we do everything we can to help guide you through the process seamlessly, with as little pain and anxiety as possible.

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Why does my tooth need to be extracted?

Teeth may need to be extracted for several reasons, most of them related to your overall health. While wisdom teeth and injuries are some of the more common instances when your tooth may need to be removed, other factors can lead your dentist to recommend extraction, such as:  

  • Damaged Tooth. A tooth might be chipped, cracked, or damaged severely as a result of an accident or injury. While repairing and restoring your natural teeth is always the goal, severe damage may not be treatable and may necessitate a tooth extraction procedure.
  • A crowded gumline. As children develop, the gumline might become crowded, causing teeth to come in crooked or not erupt at all. Tooth extraction and orthodontic care may be the only solution to help facilitate a straight, properly aligned smile. 
  • Tooth decay. Tooth decay and cavities can often be treated early with a filling or a root canal. However, decay and cavities do not resolve on their own, and if they continue without treatment, they may lead to tooth decay that cannot be treated, requiring a complete removal of the affected tooth.
  • Abscessed tooth. An abscessed tooth is a tooth that has an infection at the root of the tooth. If it can’t be treated with procedures like a root canal or apicoectomy, you may need to have it extracted to prevent the infection from spreading.
  • Wisdom teeth. Most should be extracted because they can cause overcrowding or may already be decayed.

What is the process for a tooth extraction?

Tooth extractions are either simple or surgical, depending on the type of tooth, where it is in the mouth and gum line, and the extent of the damage or decay. 

Here’s what a simple tooth extraction involves:

  1. A local anesthetic is applied to the extraction site to minimize pain and discomfort. While you may feel pressure during the procedure, you should not feel any pain.
  2. The dentist uses a dental elevator to loosen the tooth, gently rocking it back and forth in the socket to break any connective tissue. Then the tooth is pulled out using forceps.
  3. Any infected or inflamed tissue is removed from the socket and the empty hole stitched up to ensure it heals properly.

A surgical extraction will be necessary if the tooth needing extraction has not erupted through the gum line yet, which is also called an impacted tooth. Instead of using a dental elevator and forceps to pull the tooth out, an incision is made in the gum to reveal the tooth or tooth roots. If it is a large tooth, it may be broken into smaller pieces before being removed to minimize the size of the incision. 

Regardless of whether you have a surgical or simple extraction, the healing process is essentially the same. After the procedure, the doctor will place a piece of gauze over the empty socket and instruct you to bite down. Not only does this help stop the bleeding, but it helps your body form a blood clot in the new socket that will facilitate better healing. You will be sent home with specific instructions on how to care for the extraction site, as well as what you should eat or drink–and avoid–while you are healing.

Do I have to replace an extracted tooth?

Most times, yes. You should replace an extracted tooth because not doing so can cause your teeth to shift and create gaps. Gaps in your smile as a result of missing teeth can lead to bigger problems down the road, such as gum disease, infection, shifting of the adjacent teeth, and bone deterioration in the jaw. Teeth replacements help preserve the natural structure of your mouth and face and make sure your smile looks and functions like it should.

The most common types of teeth replacements are dental implants and dental bridges.

Dental implants

Dental implants are surgical teeth replacements implanted into the jaw. Tiny metal screws act as teeth roots, stimulating the jaw and providing a solid base for the artificial teeth (called crowns) that are attached to the screws via an abutment. Dental implants are a permanent procedure, with the implant and crown working–and looking–just like your other natural teeth.

Dental bridge

A dental bridge is another option for replacing teeth after an extraction. A dental bridge is a single or a set of prosthetic teeth that attaches to adjacent teeth on either side of a gap and sits on top of the gums. 

How much does a tooth extraction cost?

The cost of a tooth extraction can vary from patient to patient, depending on a number of factors including the severity of the condition, the type of extraction, and how many teeth are being extracted. For example, a surgical extraction typically costs more than a simple extraction. 

Most dental insurance plans will cover part–if not all–of the cost of an extraction. If you do not have insurance, Bright Now! Dental offers the OneSmile Dental plan, for discounts on all dental services, as well as special offers and flexible financing options. 

Tooth extractions are usually a last resort, but they are also usually necessary to preserve your oral health and your overall health. If you are concerned about the cost of a tooth extraction, call the Bright Now! Dental office nearest you to find out what your payment options are; you should never have to forgo critical dental care because of cost, and Bright Now! Dental does everything we can to help make sure you can afford the treatment you need.

Trust Bright Now! Dental with Your Tooth Extractions

Tooth extractions don’t have to be intimidating. At Bright Now! Dental, we offer the experienced, compassionate care you deserve when faced with a tooth extraction, and we are here to help, from procedure prep to prosthetic replacements. We believe everyone deserves quality dental care no matter what their oral health condition, and we treat everyone with dignity and respect.

If you think you or a loved one may need a tooth extraction, find the Bright Now! Dental location nearest you and schedule a consultation today.