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5 Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Extractions

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Extractions

Occasionally, dental issues can arise that leave your entire smile threatened unless dealt with quickly. In these scenarios, tooth extraction may be necessary. At Tompkins Dental, our focus is always to preserve your smile by providing our patients with exceptional preventive dentistry treatments and repairing damaged teeth when necessary. 

Here are five frequently asked questions about dental extractions and the situations in which you may need one more teeth removed by a dentist.

Question 1: Why Do I Need an Extraction?

A tooth may need to be extracted as a result of advanced tooth decay or infection. Infection can quickly spread to surrounding teeth if the tooth in question is not removed. Tooth extraction may also be necessary if a tooth becomes weak due to gum disease, or if the tooth has developed extensive damage, such as breakage or severe fracturing.

Another common reason why tooth extraction is necessary is to prevent wisdom tooth impaction. Wisdom teeth most commonly erupt late in the teen years or the early 20's. When they only partially erupt, this is frequently known as impaction and can lead to painful infection, damage to surrounding teeth, and misalignment. By removing these teeth before they erupt, we can protect the stability and appearance of your smile. 

Question 2: Will It Hurt?

The short answer is, yes. A local anesthetic will be administered around the tooth being removed. Sedation dentistry can also be useful for those who are uneasy about dental procedures. Our goal is always to have you feeling comfortable in our office for a positive experience.

Question 3: What To Expect Afterward?

After the tooth has been removed, the extraction site will be closed. Afterward, a friend or family member will need to take you home if sedation was used for the extraction. In the following few days, rest is suggested, and you should avoid strenuous activities. Additionally, you should avoid using straws and eat a soft-food diet. A follow-up appointment will be necessary to remove the sutures and ensure that everything is healing correctly. 

Question 4: What Are My Options For Replacing a Missing Tooth?

If you are having wisdom teeth removed, there is no need to replace the tooth being extracted. However, if you lose a tooth from infection, damage, or gum disease, you will have a gap in your smile that needs to be corrected. 

There are several options for replacing a missing tooth or multiple teeth. 

Dental Implant

A dental implant is the best option for replacing a single missing tooth or several teeth in different areas of your mouth. This treatment involves surgically mounting a titanium post or frame into your upper or lower jaw. A replacement tooth is then attached to the implant, which allows for a permanent solution to a missing tooth. A dental implant will last for decades or even a lifetime with proper care. 

Fixed Dental Bridge

A fixed dental bridge can be a viable tooth replacement option if you are missing one or more teeth in the same area. A fixed dental bridge essentially bridges the gap caused by a missing tooth using a dental prosthetic or artificial tooth. The prosthetic is attached to adjacent teeth using dental cement. Bridges are beneficial because they look and feel like natural teeth. Additionally, they are also more cost-effective than dental implants. 

Partial Denture 

Your dentist may suggest a complete set of dentures if you need to replace all of your teeth. If you only need to replace some of your teeth, you might be a candidate for a removable partial denture. Removable partial dentures look and feel natural in the mouth, and they are also less expensive and more comfortable to repair and replace than other placement options. Some patients find wearing partial dentures to be uncomfortable with a long adjustment period. 

Question 5: Can I leave the Space Empty?

Your teeth are designed to work together, so missing one or more can sometimes impact speech, eating, and overtime cause other dental issues. Missing teeth can also change the shape of your face, as it can cause your mouth to shift. 

Whether your tooth needs a custom restoration or requires extraction, Tompkins Dental is here to help. For more information on restorative dentistry treatments, dental extractions, or preventative maintenance of your smile, call us to schedule an appointment. 

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