It is the goal of a good dentist, such as Dr. Shawn Hofkes of Cerritos Dental Surgery, to try and save each and every tooth. Although adult permanent teeth were designed to last a lifetime, sometimes, saving a tooth is not possible or even desirable, and it may need to be extracted.
The Need for Tooth Extraction
There are a variety of reasons why a tooth may need to be removed:
- Your mouth may be too crowded. If you are about to begin an orthodontic procedure, it may be necessary to remove a tooth or teeth to properly align your teeth.
- Your tooth may be infected. Often, the pulp of a tooth has been damaged, where the nerves and the blood vessels are housed. If this is the case, and antibiotics have failed or the damage has progressed too far, then the only option may be extraction.
- Sometimes, the risk of infection, such as if you are receiving chemotherapy, is too great to try and treat the tooth.
- Gum disease, known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the bones and the tissues that support your teeth. Your tooth or teeth may have become so loose that they cannot remain.
- Radiation treatment to the head and neck area may require teeth to be removed due to the teeth blocking the field of radiation.
How Are Teeth Extracted?
Generally, there are two types of tooth extractions:
- A simple extraction is performed on a tooth that is visible inside your mouth. The tooth is generally loosened with an instrument named an elevator and removed with forceps. A local anesthetic is used unless a patient requires a different form of anesthesia.
- A surgical extraction is a more involved procedure. A tooth may have been broken off and very little of the tooth is still visible. A local anesthetic is administered, as well as an appropriate form of dental sedation to help you relax, if necessary.
What To Expect Afterwards:
Normally, the recovery period following a tooth extraction will only be a few days. It is important not to smoke. The dentist may prescribe painkillers, if needed. Gently rinsing your mouth with warm salt water is also beneficial. Eat soft foods during your recovery.
An important part of your treatment plan is consulting with Dr. Hofkes concerning a dental bridge or dental implant to replace your extracted tooth (except in the case of extracted wisdom teeth).
About Your Cerritos Oral Surgeon:
If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Shawn Hofkes, DDS, contact us today at 562-584-4082. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and all surrounding communities.