Tooth Extractions in Reston VA
As dentists, our main goal is to preserve your natural teeth and keep them healthy for as long as possible. There are times, however, when it is in your best interest (or your child’s) to have a tooth extracted (removed). This could be the case for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you have a tooth that has been severely damaged by trauma or decay; or an impacted wisdom tooth that may cause trouble for you later on. Maybe your teenager will soon undergo orthodontic treatment and has insignificant space for his adult teeth, referred to as crowding. Or your younger child has a baby tooth that’s stubbornly adhering, even though it’s past time for it to go.
Whatever the reason, tooth extractions is more often than not a very routine procedure. How straightforward this minor surgery is will depend on where the tooth to be extracted is located in the mouth, and what its roots are like. For example, a front tooth with a single straight root is easier to remove than a molar with multiple roots. This is especially true when that molar is a wisdom tooth that is impacted, meaning it is below the surface surrounded by gum tissue and bone. Often, a wisdom tooth is blocked from fully erupting (growing in) by other teeth in its path.
Still, tooth extraction is nothing to be feared when done by an experienced hand. Keep in mind that a tooth is not rigidly fixed in its surrounding bone, though that’s how some may picture it. In fact, it is attached to the bone via a network of fibers that form what’s known as the periodontal ligament. By carefully manipulating the tooth, we can dislodge these fibers and free the tooth without much trouble.
Simple extractions are performed when the tooth is damaged by either decay or injury to the point where it cannot be repaired.
Surgical extractions are performed when the tooth is impacted, which means that all or a portion of the tooth is covered by gum tissue. This can happen when a tooth never fully erupts (as is sometimes the case with wisdom teeth), or it can be the result of an injury that broke the tooth beneath the gumline.
The Process of Extracting a Tooth
The first step in any extraction is a radiographic (x-ray) examination to assess the position of the tooth roots and the condition of the surrounding bone. This will allow any possible complications to be anticipated. We take a thorough medical and drug history to ensure that you are healthy enough to undergo the procedure. We will also discuss the options for anesthesia.
Tooth extraction is usually carried out with local anesthesia, which will numb the teeth to be removed, and the surrounding bone and gum tissues. As we remove your tooth, we’ll be very careful not to damage the bone that surrounds it.
When do you need to remove your wisdom teeth?
It’s not necessary for you to get your wisdom teeth removed if they are correctly positioned in your mouth and do not cause any pain or dental problems. If they are impacted and/or cause crowding in your teeth, our dentist will recommend that you have them removed. There are two ways wisdom teeth may grow. 1. Some will grow in like regular teeth and 2. Some will become impacted.
Impacted wisdom teeth are blocked from growing properly. They typically remain below the surface of your gum line and lie horizontally instead of standing upright like they are supposed to, mostly because there isn’t enough room for them to grow. Sometimes they sprout out sideways and towards another tooth. Keeping an impacted wisdom tooth that slightly sprouts can be difficult to keep because it can be a place for plaque and bacteria to accumulate. This is bad because it would promote the development of cavities and could lead to a much larger infection affecting more than just your teeth.
Impacted wisdom teeth can possibly collide with the roots of your molars and that can be extremely painful. In addition, while your impacted wisdom tooth is trying to erupt, the wisdom tooth itself can wear down the adjacent tooth and lead to several dental issues. If you decide not to remove your wisdom teeth, be sure to floss your teeth on a consistent basis, getting all the way to the back teeth. And be sure to use fluoridated mouth wash.
At SmileZone Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Reston, we are committed to always providing the most conservative treatment possible, and composite fillings help us to meet that goal. Please contact us at (703) 662-1625 and we will be happy to assist you.