Tooth Extraction in Post Office Square, Boston, MA
A tooth extraction is a relatively quick outpatient procedure performed by your Post Office Square dentist. There are two types of extractions: simple and surgical. Teeth that are broken or impacted require surgical means to remove them. Everything else is considered a simple extraction.
Most Common Causes of Extractions
The three most common causes of extractions are trauma, periodontal (gum) disease, and dental decay.Trauma
Trauma involves getting hit in the mouth (during an accident, due to a fall, or getting hit in the face while playing sports). The tooth can either break, become loose, or pop out completely in these instances. If the tooth is still in place but severely fractured, your dentist will likely recommend an extraction.
Periodontal disease is a disease of the gum tissue that can lead to gum infections and bone loss. As the disease progresses, patients experience gum recession. Left untreated, the jawbone will eventually start to recede as well. When the ligaments and bone are lost, there is nothing left to support the teeth. In the final stages of gum disease, the patient will experience tooth mobility. There is nothing we can do to save the teeth at this point. Extractions are needed to preserve the jawbone and restore the patient's health.Dental Decay
Dental decay is caused by oral bacteria that release acids. The acids slowly erode the enamel, causing it to die off. As time progresses, so does the decay. Deep decay that has entered the nerve chamber does not automatically require an extraction. Root canal treatment and a dental crown can restore the tooth. However, if too much of the tooth structure is lost to decay or if a root canal and crown are out of the patient's budget, an extraction is indicated. Failing to treat or extract the tooth can result in a painful, dangerous infection.
Non-Disease-Related Extractions in Post Office Square
While gum disease, trauma, and decay are the typical reasons for extraction, they are not the only ones. In some cases, the extraction of a healthy tooth is necessary.
If a patient has a misaligned bite and/or crooked teeth with crowding, they may require an extraction. Removing a tooth (or multiple teeth) allows the other teeth to come into proper alignment, making it easier to clean the teeth. Aligning the teeth and jaw will also help prevent uneven pressure on the teeth (which can result in cracks, chips, and fractures), as well as the jaw joints (which can contribute to TMJ disorder).
Wisdom Teeth Extractions
The third molars – or the last molars to come in – emerge in the back of the mouth between the ages of 16 and 20 years. When these teeth are healthy and properly positioned, they are an asset.
However, many people face issues with their wisdom teeth, including:
- Not having enough room for them to come in
- Difficulty brushing and flossing around them
- Shifting of other teeth, causing misalignment
- Impaction (the jawbone is not large enough for the extra teeth, so they only emerge partway or become completely impacted)
Removing the teeth is often necessary to avoid:
- Dental decay
- Gum disease
- Shifting teeth
- Uneven bite
- TMJ disorder
- Damage to the roots of molars adjacent to impacted wisdom teeth
Are Extractions Painful?
You should not experience pain during your extraction. Your Post Office Square dentist will numb the tooth/teeth and surrounding gum tissue. The only thing you should feel during the procedure is some pressure.
For surgical extractions, wisdom teeth removal, or for patients with high dental anxiety, we do offer IV sedation so patients can sleep through the procedure.
After the procedure, your dental team will have you bite down on gauze to limit any bleeding. During this time, they will review aftercare instructions, which will ensure your health and comfort following your procedure.
It is not uncommon for patients to experience some swelling, tenderness, and even some pain after the anesthesia wears off. Typically, these feelings will dissipate after a few days. If you can take them, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can help ease your symptoms.
Contact Us at the First Sign of Trouble
If you have dental pain, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible. Treating a dental disease or injury quickly will help relieve your discomfort and help preserve your dental health.
Likewise, if you experience prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or fever after your extraction, contact your Post Office Square dentist right away. This could be a sign of an infection.
We want to help our patients live a healthy, pain-free life. Notifying us as soon as you notice a problem will help us achieve this goal.
Do you have questions about dental extractions? Call our team at (617) 426-6011 to schedule a consultation.