Our goal at Towncare Dental of Winter Park is to work with you to keep your natural teeth healthy. There are times, though, when a tooth becomes too damaged or decayed to save and must be pulled.
A tooth removal is also called a tooth extraction, or pulling a tooth. It’s a very common procedure and, typically, can easily be done in the dentist’s chair.
That’s because teeth are not rigidly fixed to the jaw bone. Instead, they’re attached by fibers called periodontal ligaments. By carefully manipulating a tooth, the dentist can detach the ligaments and remove the tooth with ease.
Why a Tooth May Need to be Removed
Most people are prompted to call our Towncare Dental of Winter Park to have a tooth removed when they are experiencing a painful toothache. A toothache doesn’t always mean the tooth needs to be pulled. Common reasons for tooth extractions include:
- Severely cracked or broken tooth
In many cases, a tooth that is cracked or broken can be repaired by placing a crown over it. If the damage has reached the soft connective tissue in the center of the tooth, known as the pulp, a root canal may be needed before placing a crown on the tooth. However, there are times when the tooth is so severely damaged or rotten that it cannot be saved. In those cases, the dentist will extract the tooth.
- Severe decay (cavity)
A cavity is literally a hole in the enamel of a tooth. It is caused by bacteria that decay the tooth enamel. Small cavities can be fixed with a filling of porcelain, resin or metal alloy. Larger cavities can be repaired by placing a crown over the tooth. If the tooth is severely infected tooth and the patient is in pain, the dentist will either perform a root canal or pull the tooth to provide pain relief.
- Baby tooth stays in place too long
Starting at the age of 5 or 6, children look forward to losing a baby tooth so they can place it beneath their pillow for the tooth fairy to find. Sometimes, however, a baby tooth fails to fall out on its own, preventing the permanent tooth from emerging. When this occurs, the dentist will remove the baby tooth.
- Tooth or teeth need to be removed before braces placed
By the time people reach their early teens, most of their permanent teeth will have grown in. But sometimes the jaw is too small to hold all the teeth in proper alignment. The teeth can crowd each other and shift out of position. A dentist may extract a tooth to make room for the other teeth. Often, the extraction is followed by orthodontic treatment including braces to properly align the remaining teeth.
- Gum disease has loosened the teeth too much
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a common reason that adults have teeth that loosen or fall out. It’s caused by bacteria that attack the gum tissue, causing it to pull away from the tooth and eroding the ligaments holding the tooth to the jaw bone. If the tooth becomes too loose, it can fall out on its own or need to be extracted.
- Wisdom teeth are causing problems
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that typically push through the gum line at the back of the jaw between the ages of 17 and 25. Many people, however, don’t have enough room in their jaw to support four more molars. The wisdom tooth can remain partially or completely under the gum line and become impacted. A dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon to remove the impacted tooth.
If you hear our dentist in Winter Park refer to the type of extraction you need as a “simple tooth extraction,” it means the shape and condition of the tooth roots will allow the tooth to come out easily. Simple tooth extractions can be performed by a general dentist right in the comfort of our Towncare Dental of Winter Park office. For more complicated extractions, our dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon to perform the tooth extraction.
Wisdom Tooth Removal in Winter Park
Most people have four wisdom teeth that come through the gum line during the later teen/early adult years. However, this third set of molars often cause problems. Our team at Towncare Dental of Winter Park will take x-rays to determine if the wisdom teeth are causing any problems such as:
- If your jaw is too small for the wisdom teeth to properly come through the gum line
- The wisdom teeth are only partially coming through the gums
- The wisdom teeth are coming in at an angle
- The wisdom teeth are damaging the adjacent teeth
- The wisdom teeth are damaging the jaw bone
- The wisdom teeth are causing a gum infection
It’s easiest to have the wisdom teeth extracted before the age of 25 because the wisdom tooth roots are not fully developed and the jaw bone is not as thick as it will be when you’re older. Our dentist, therefore, may recommend you have the wisdom teeth removed to eliminate existing problems or to prevent future ones. If our dentist cannot perform the wisdom tooth procedure, we’ll refer you to an oral surgeon who will be able to help you.
Call Towncare Dental of Winter Park Today to Schedule an Exam
The first step to determining whether you need to have any teeth extracted is to schedule a dental exam by calling our office at (407) 901-4351. We’ll take x-rays and evaluate the condition of your teeth to determine whether the natural tooth can be restored or it should be extracted.