Tooth Extraction & Removal in Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange County
Tooth extraction or tooth removal, also referred to as exodontias, is one of the most common dental procedures, and also one of the most dreaded prospects. It involves the removal of a tooth from its socket in the jawbone. Tooth extraction is usually a last result, when all other efforts to repair and restore the natural tooth are futile, though there are some instances when tooth removal is necessary.
Reasons for Tooth Extraction
- Recommended removal of wisdom teeth: Many dental professionals recommend the removal of wisdom teeth before they fully develop (in the teen years) to avoid likely problems, like impacted tooth, infection, bite interference, or decay of adjacent teeth.
- Trauma or severe tooth damage: Teeth that are severely damaged (cracked or broken) or decayed to the extent that they cannot be restored. E.g. teeth affected by periodontal disease must be pulled out.
- Malpositioned or non-functioning teeth: Your dentist may recommend the removal of teeth without opposing teeth to bite against to avoid possible complications from misaligned teeth.
- Extra teeth: When extra teeth are likely to block others from erupting.
- Orthodontic treatment: Some treatments like braces may require the removal of some teeth to create the needed space for proper teeth alignment.
- Chemotherapy: This treatment weakens the immune system, making the patient more prone to tooth infections, and subsequently, increased risk of extraction.
- Radiation: In some cases, some teeth may need to be removed in the field of radiation when undergoing head and neck radiation therapy, to reduce the risk of complications, like infection.
Tooth Extraction FAQ
Are there alternatives to surgical extractions?
Actually, there are two types of tooth extractions: simple extractions that are done under local anesthesia (without sedation) for easily visible teeth; and surgical extractions for teeth that are harder to reach in the mouth because they have not fully erupted, or have broken off at the gum line. In the latter case, gum tissue may have to be folded back to make the tooth visible, or the tooth broken into pieces to make it removable.
Do I have to live with a gap while waiting for the site to heal?
When the tooth extracted is at the back of the mouth where it is not easily visible, there is usually no need for the placement of a temporary tooth. But for front teeth extractions, a temporary prosthesis may be placed for esthetic purposes. When the area has healed, you will still need the prosthesis while the implant heals.
Will I feel any pain after extraction?
It is common to experience some discomfort following a surgical procedure like tooth extraction. However, the pain experienced after an extraction is very little, and can be successfully managed with over-the-counter medications.
What can I eat after surgery?
Under normal circumstances, you can return to your regular diet after tooth removal. However, you should avoid chewing directly over the extraction site, and avoid foods with small seeds that may get lodged into the socket. You should also drink through a straw so the liquid bypasses the surgical site.