When severe dental decay, gum disease, facial injuries, or other conditions cause damage, sometimes removing the affected tooth or teeth is the only way to prevent further problems. Tooth extraction is a very common procedure at Arizona Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons in Tucson, AZ, and Oro Valley, AZ. Our oral surgeons are trained to remove problem teeth and eliminate any signs of infection around the tooth sockets.
Our surgeons will work with you and your referring dentist to explore all of your treatment options before resorting to an extraction. Sometimes your surgeon or dentist can save a natural tooth through other means, such as root canals, apicoectomy, or other restorative procedures. If an extraction is necessary, however, our surgeons can also discuss your tooth replacement options. Patients who want to replace their teeth right away can sometimes receive a dental implant or bone graft procedure immediately after the extraction (depending on the overall health of their mouth and bone tissue).
Reasons for Tooth Extraction
There are a few different conditions that are treated through dental extractions:
- Severe decay or tooth infections. When tooth decay is severe, the infection can spread to other parts of the mouth. If restorative procedures can’t restore the tooth, extraction will be necessary.
- Broken or damaged teeth. Most of the time a broken tooth can be repaired by your dentist or an oral surgeon if it is treated soon enough. In some cases, however, the damage is irreparable, and the broken tooth will need to be removed.
- Crowding or impaction. In rare cases, extra teeth can be present in the dental arch, which can lead to crowding and poor positioning. Sometimes baby teeth (especially the canines) do not fall out in time for new teeth to come in, causing them to be impacted. Removing the baby teeth often allows the adult teeth to erupt in a healthy manner.
- Gum disease (periodontal disease). Advanced gum disease can cause damage to the bone and teeth that become loose and mobile. Extractions are sometimes the only option to prevent the infection from affecting nearby bone tissue and teeth.
Having a tooth extracted is usually done with local anesthesia, which prevents any pain during the procedure. Most patients only feel a sense of pressure as the surgeon rocks the tooth to widen the socket before removal. If necessary, your surgeon will section the tooth into pieces for an easier removal process.
If you need to have many extractions or a more complicated extraction, you may have the option to undergo IV anesthesia, which allows patients to enter a sleep-like state and wake up once the procedure is over. This is sometimes necessary for longer procedures. Your surgeon will discuss your anesthesia options with you and help you make a decision when you come in for your pre-surgery consultation. Patients who are more anxious about their procedure often opt for IV sedation. Our staff will work with you to make sure you are comfortable before proceeding with any treatment plan.
Tooth Extraction in Tucson, AZ, and Oro Valley, AZ
If you need a dental extraction, our oral surgeons, Dr. Robert S. Wood and Dr. Nicholas J. Coles, can help. Oral surgeons undergo years of training in surgical techniques, dental diseases, and anesthesia administration before caring for patients, and our surgeons have years of experience removing problem teeth. Contact one of our offices in Tucson, AZ, or Oro Valley, AZ, to learn more.