Tooth extractions are routine dental procedures used to remove decayed, damaged or otherwise problematic teeth. Dentists usually make every effort to preserve natural teeth, although sometimes an extraction is necessary. Although the procedure is performed in a dentist’s office, it is considered surgery. Depending on which teeth are removed, they may be replaced with a dental implant or another oral prosthetic.
Do I need a tooth extraction?
Only your dentist can tell you if you need a tooth extraction. However, you may be a candidate for the procedure if one or more of your teeth are decayed so severely that a filling or other restoration is not a possibility for treatment.
What should I expect during my tooth extraction appointment?
If you and your dentist decide to extract one or more teeth, you will be scheduled to return for oral surgery at a later date. You will be given a local anesthetic to prevent pain during the procedure, and you may be prescribed medications to help manage pain in the hours following your extraction. Depending on the nature of your extraction and other factors, such as whether your teeth are impacted, you may also be sedated during your procedure.
What type of post-treatment care will I need to follow?
Post-operative care following a tooth extraction is essential for healing and preventing complications. You will be instructed to avoid certain foods and also keep the surgical site clean at all times. If you are prescribed an antibiotic, it is important that you complete the course of treatment to prevent infection. Finally, you may be advised to avoid smoking or drinking through a straw, as doing so may delay the healing process and cause a condition known as ‘dry socket.’
The wisdom teeth are the final four teeth to erupt from the gums – usually sometime between age 17 and 25. Ideally, the teeth emerge without complication. As many as 9 in 10 Canadians have at least one wisdom tooth that is impacted. Even if the teeth all erupt normally, they may cause overcrowding or grow in at an angle that can be problematic in the future. For that reason, many people elect to have their wisdom teeth removed to prevent infection, crowding, and other complications.
Do I need my wisdom teeth removed?
You may need your wisdom teeth removed if you have one or more impacted wisdom teeth or if you are having difficulty adequately cleaning those that have emerged. It is recommended that all young adults be evaluated. A consultation and x-ray can reveal impaction, damage to neighboring teeth, signs of decay, gum disease, or perceived complications with future wisdom tooth eruption.
What should I expect during a wisdom teeth removal?
Most wisdom removals take only minutes to perform, but you’ll be under local anesthesia or sedation to prevent discomfort. If your are anxious one, ask your doctor about laughing gas. Once the teeth are removed, the gums are sutured shut. Keep in mind that you will need a responsible driver to take you home following the extraction, as it will not be safe for you to drive after being heavily sedated.
Will I need to follow any special instructions following my wisdom teeth removal procedure?
Yes. You’ll need to keep the extraction site clean and free of debris for the first couple of weeks after the wisdom teeth removal. You’ll also need to take all medications exactly as prescribed by our dentists. Avoid sucking through a straw for the first several days after surgery, and notify our dentists if you experience fever or discomfort that worsens after a few days.
Do I need my wisdom teeth removed?
You could be a candidate for a root canal if decay or damage has allowed bacteria to infect the pulp inside your tooth. A root canal could also be the right treatment for you if you prefer to preserve as much of your natural tooth as possible instead of extracting both the healthy and diseased portions of your tooth. For more information about root canals and whether they are right for you, schedule a dental exam and consultation at your earliest convenience.