How can we help you?
It's completely normal to have questions about your dental care and our practice! We encourage our patients to ask questions. After all, that's how you make informed decisions!
We'll always take the time to explain diagnoses and treatment options to you, and if there's ever anything you need more information on, don't hesitate to let us know!
We've collected some of the most commonly heard questions at our practice. Feel free to look through and see if your questions are answered here. If your question isn't here or you'd like more information, give us a call!
Pain-free, Carefully Done Extractions
When we take out teeth we do it in a specific, precise way that has been developed with years of training and experience. Without that training and experience and knowledge of dental anatomy, one might be tempted to just put a pair of pliers on a tooth and yank the thing out. During our time in dental school, we actually saw several cases of patients who did attempt to remove their own teeth, often with unhealthy consequences.
Instead of brute force and a pair of pliers, dentists first use instruments called elevators to apply pressure to specific areas of the tooth. This causes back and forth movement that breaks the ligament that holds the root of the tooth to the bone and gums. Once the tooth is very loose, special forceps that are adapted to teeth are used to gently remove the tooth. All of this is done under profound local anesthesia, so while patients may feel some pressure, they don’t feel any pain.
Not every tooth comes out easy. Some teeth break into multiple pieces, and others are firmly held in place by thick walls of bone. In these cases, it may be necessary to move the gum tissue out of the way in order to better visualize the surgical area. After that, bone can be removed as necessary, or the tooth can be split into fragments and removed piece by piece.
If you have any questions about extractions, please feel free to call us at (301) 963-0800, and we’ll be happy to tell you more.
There are many different types of extractions, but the two most common are the simple extraction and the surgical extraction.
The simple extraction usually takes much less time and is completed by using instruments known as elevators and forceps. These are straightforward procedures in which pressure is applied to specific areas on the tooth, gums, and bone in order to loosen the tooth and eventually remove it from the socket. Placement of a suture may be necessary.
A surgical extraction is a little more complicated and involves either removal of bone around the tooth, or the partitioning of the tooth into different pieces before the tooth is extracted. This is much more common with molars, which have multiple roots, and often need to be removed root by root. For these procedures, in addition to the elevators and forceps used in a simple extraction, the dentist may use a special drill in order to section the tooth. In this procedure, placement of sutures is almost always necessary.
Complications May Result In A Surgical Extraction
When you can see a lot of remaining tooth structure, usually a simple extraction is all that is needed to remove the tooth. However, if the tooth breaks during the extraction, it may necessitate the removal of the tooth piece by piece with the aid of a drill, making the procedure a surgical extraction. In cases where very little tooth structure is remaining, surgical extractions are more likely because there is less tooth structure to engage with our usual instruments, and the only way to remove the tooth is piece by piece.
This can be confusing to patients, and if you have any questions about your specific situation, please give us a call at (301) 963-0800, and we’ll be happy to talk to you!