Extraction (removal) of teeth is usually necessary when the mouth becomes overcrowded or when gum disease or tooth decay has severely damaged the teeth. In both instances, extraction can eliminate the teeth that are causing problems and prevent infection from spreading to surrounding teeth.
Teeth extraction is almost always necessary when people start to grow wisdom teeth between the ages of 15 and 20 years old.
When wisdom teeth appear, problems that may arrive include pain, infection and swelling of the gums. Dr. Long may recommend that he extract these teeth as soon as possible to avoid furthur complications. In seriuos cases without teeth extraction, there is a chance that wisdom teeth will become impacted which means that the tooth is attempting to grow, but does not have room to do so. Impacted molars can destroy other teeth and lead to a build-up of bacteria, plaque and sometimes cysts, tumors and other various diseases. On a case-by-case basis, Dr. Long may elect to refer impacted teeth to an oral surgeon in the area.
Like impacted molars, teeth that have been damaged or loosened by gum disease and decay can spread infection. In this case, Dr. Long would recommend that he extract those teeth as soon as a problem becomes evident.
During teeth extraction, Dr. Long may use either a general or local anesthetic depending on the severity of the problem and the number of teeth needing to be extracted. If the problem is serious, Dr. Long usually sedates the patient using intravenous anesthetic so that they remain groggy throughout the procedure. After extraction, wounds are usually stitched up to aid in the healing process.
Following extraction, Dr. Long reminds his patients not to smoke. They are also reminded to eat soft foods, take pain medication as necessary and to rinse with salt water throughout the day to try and keep pain and swelling down.
Like most other procedures, there are a few risks when it comes to teeth extraction. Patients may experience a painful condition called dry socket if the blood clot in their healing tooth becomes dislodged. In rare cases, tooth extraction can also cause harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream, so people with heart or liver disease may experience serious repercussions. Likewise, electing not to have a necessary extraction may result in many of the same complications. Dr. Long will discuss your needs with you to determine your best treatment protocol.
Many patients who have extractions get implants to replace the missing teeth. For more information on this, go to the Dental Implant sublink under the Services Offered page.