Extraction is the removal of teeth from the jaw.
While it is important to conserve teeth it may sometimes be necessary to remove a tooth rather than keep it. Extractions maybe advised for a variety of reasons such as:
- Extensive decay that results in the tooth being unable to be restored
- Extensive infection
- To make room to better align teeth in the course of orthodontic treatment
- Loose teeth and infected teeth as a result of periodontal disease
- An extra tooth (supernumerary) which effects the position of other teeth
- Impacted teeth.
Most extractions can be completed in the dental chair at the surgery. With effective local anaesthesia, most routine extractions can be removed with minimal to no discomfort.
Occasionally, there may be circumstances where it is necessary to refer you to the care of an oral surgeon. This maybe likely if a surgical approach is necessary, or if you need multiple extractions, or if you have a medical condition which may result in complications
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt into the jaws. This generally occurs around the age of eighteen to twenty. If there is insufficient space in the jaws, the eruption path of the wisdom teeth will be disrupted and the wisdom teeth will fail to erupt in proper alignment. When teeth fail to erupt or only partially erupt, these teeth are described as impacted. Some of the common problems associated with impacted teeth are:
- Painful infections of the gum surrounding the impacted tooth which spread into the surrounding tissues
- Susceptibility to decay as wisdom teeth are too difficult to keep clean
- Resorption of the adjacent tooth or retention of plaque which leads to decay of the adjacent tooth.
The extraction of wisdom teeth can be complicated, especially if they are impacted. In this situation, patients are referred to an oral surgeon.