Teeth are removed or extracted for a number of reasons. Most typically, the removal of a tooth is performed:
- to resolve an existing infection
- to alleviate dental pain/suffering
- when a severely decayed or fractured tooth cannot be fixed or restored
- to eliminate weak or mobile (“wiggly”) teeth that cannot support a partial denture to be fabricated
- for impacted wisdom teeth prior to development of related tooth crowding, infection, or pain
Dental extractions are typically comfortable procedures. Patients may request and receive sedation during an extraction appointment to heighten anesthesia and to minimize anxiety. Options include mild conscious sedation such as nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) or moderate conscious sedation via oral sedatives. If you are interested in learning more about sedation options available at our office please consult our “Sedation & Anxiety Management” section in our drop-down Dental Services Menu. Prior to your dental extraction(s), you will be anesthetized using a surgical-grade local anesthetic. This anesthetic is typically twice the concentration of the typical anesthetic used during dental filling appointments.
Extractions may be simple (non-surgical) or complicated (surgical). To remove a tooth that is heavily decayed and therefore brittle or a fractured tooth that has limited remaining structure to engage, adjustment of the surrounding gum and bone tissue may be necessary. Following these extractions, you will typically be prescribed an antibiotic to aid in healing. You may also need bone grafting to preserve the height and volume of bone for future restorative procedures like dental implants or dental bridges. I will discuss all aspects of the extraction procedure in advance with you including: need for sedation, need for bone grafting, and typical healing periods. Restorative options for replacing a tooth or teeth will be discussed with you in depth.
Wisdom Tooth Removal
Wisdom teeth typically begin to erupt between 16-24 years of age. Often, their eruption is obstructed and these teeth become impacted by the 2nd molars located anteriorly. Extraction of 3rd molars or “wisdom teeth” can prevent complications associated with their maintenance. These complications may include:
- severe pain
- dental decay or “cavities”
- negative effects on adjacent teeth
- infection of the surrounding soft tissues
- pressure-induced crowding of the teeth
Wisdom teeth or 3rd molars typically erupt into the mouth between 18 – 24 years of age. Often, these teeth become impacted or obstructed by the 2nd molars in front of them. Early detection and removal of impacted 3rd molars can prevent future adverse outcomes.
How do I know if my wisdom teeth are erupting? How do I know if they are causing problems?
- A feeling of pressure or throbbing from behind your erupted 2nd molars
- A stinging feeling of the gums around a partially erupted wisdom tooth
- A change in the way your bite feels
- A strange taste or odour originating from any corner at the back of your mouth
What is involved in having my wisdom teeth extracted?
Dr. Hornby has special surgical training for removal of both erupted and impacted wisdom teeth. As with other surgical procedures, you have the option to receive treatment in conjunction with dental sedation. At your appointment, you will be anesthetized using a surgical grade local anesthetic. In the case of most impactions, the gums and jawbone will need to be adjusted to facilitate a clear path of exit for your wisdom tooth/teeth. Once the wisdom teeth are removed, extraction sites are typically sutured or “stitched” closed to improve healing outcomes. You will be prescribed a post-operative prophylactic course of antibiotics to minimize risk of post-operative infection. You may also receive a prescription for pain medication. Dr. Hornby will review post-operative instructions with you. We will also provide you with a supply of surgical gauze to manage minimal post-operative bleeding where it occurs. Dr. Hornby will typically contact you 24-48 hours following wisdom tooth extraction to ensure that you are healing predictably.
If you are experiencing pain, pressure or other symptoms related to your wisdom teeth please contact us to arrange a consult with Dr. Kyle Hornby.