Tooth extractions are not as common as they once were. Forty, thirty or even ten years ago, teeth that today can be saved and repaired would have been extracted instead.
These days, we have many other options to treat and repair teeth, and usually, this is the goal. In some cases, however, there is so much damage or pain that there is simply no way to retain the tooth, and the best course of action or permanent pain and infection relief is to remove the tooth completely.
Since most of our patients are referred to us by other dentists, and most have complex cases involving significant damage and pain, this is very often a consideration for treating the patients we see.
When Do We Perform Extractions?
Our practice does not offer primary dental services, and all of our patients arrive here as a referral from other dentists. As such, we perform limited extractions in our office, and they almost always fall within one of two categories:
- During root canal or root surgery we determine a tooth can’t be saved so we extract.
- Patients who are referred to us for a different procedure, where it is determined that the procedure will not solve the problem.
As with any other dental practice, we do try to find alternative treatment options that will preserve the tooth, but if that is not possible, extraction may be the only option.
What to Expect from Tooth Extraction?
Since tooth extraction is almost always a “last resort” treatment, it’s likely that by the time it is decided that this is the best course of action, the patient will have had several examinations by their primary dentist, as well as examinations and x-rays in our office. So, we will have a very good idea of the scope of the problem.
If there is significant infection or an abscess present, additional treatment to drain the infected area may be required before the extraction can be done. Again, as patients will already have consulted their primary dentist about their condition, this would normally be done before we see them.
Extractions can be done with local anesthesia, if they are simple and there are no complications, however, if they are complex sedation may be required to ensure patient comfort.
Will We Extract Your Patient’s Teeth?
Sometimes, when patients are referred to our office, their primary dentist is not entirely sure what the best treatment for their condition will be. The goal is almost always to save the tooth through endodontic surgery, root canal, or similar treatments.
In a small number of cases, this might not be possible, if the tooth is too damaged, or there is significant bone loss or other complications. In those cases, we may determine that extraction is the only permanent solution.
If the patient is in significant pain, or there are other circumstances that dictate immediate extraction, we will perform the procedure in our office.
What Happens After Teeth Are Extracted?
In some cases, where the extraction is not visible and will not affect normal chewing, speech and other activities, no further treatment is required. However, where the tooth is in a prominent position, or where it is required for normal chewing and speech, prosthetics, implants, crowns and bridges may be required.
We do not offer these types of restorative services. We will ensure that the patient is pain free, and then return their chart to their primary dentist for follow up restorative work.
For more information on having teeth extracted or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tom Shackleton, please contact us at 403-242-9952 today.