Tooth Extractions

You and Dr. Henriksen or Dr. Holleman may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Tooth extractions are surgical procedures that are used to remove teeth from the mouth. There are many reasons for tooth extractions, but the most common is periodontal disease. This is a bacterial infection that can harm the tissues and bone around your teeth. It can also lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

Other reasons for tooth extraction include:
– Impacted wisdom teeth that cannot break through the gum line
– Teeth that have severe decay or have been broken by injury
– Teeth that may cause an infection in surrounding tissue

Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.  A tooth extraction is usually done under local anesthesia, but in some cases you may need general anesthesia as well.

The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.

To avoid these complications, in most cases, Drs. Henriksen or Holleman will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.

Sectioning a Tooth

Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.

After Tooth Extraction

Teeth are more delicate than many people think. They can be easily damaged if they’re not taken care of properly. Injuries to the face, playing sports, falling, having a disease or infection, or even biting into something too hard can all cause tooth damage.

If you have an infected tooth, it’s important to extract it to prevent the infection from spreading. Removing a damaged tooth also prevents the underlying jaw bone from deteriorating. You may also be able to restore your tooth with a replacement.

It’s important for a blood clot to form after tooth extraction to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. 72 hours after an extraction, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the blood clot. Activities such as rinsing vigorously, sucking on straws, smoking, drinking alcohol, or brushing teeth next to the extraction site can dissolve or dislodge the clot and hinder healing. Avoid vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this can increase blood pressure and cause more bleeding.

For more details on home care after tooth extraction, see the page “After Extractions” under “Surgical Instructions”.