Extractions & Oral Surgery
Although we are committed to providing excellent preventive care and advice, it may sometimes be necessary to extract a tooth for the following reasons:
- Extensive decay or advanced gum disease
- A wisdom tooth has become impacted
- A baby tooth has failed to fall out and is preventing the emergence of a permanent tooth
- More room is needed for successful orthodontic treatment or to ensure new dentures fit properly
- Can eliminate pain
- Prevents the spread of infection
- Creates extra space
- We take an x-ray and assess your teeth to ascertain the best method of removal, which will either be a simple extraction or a surgical extraction.
- A simple extraction is performed on a tooth that is visible in the mouth. It involves loosening the tooth and removing it with dental forceps under local anaesthetic
- A surgical extraction involves making a small incision in the gum to remove a tooth that may have broken off or is concealed under the gum.
Immediately after your tooth has been taken out, try to keep the site clean by rinsing with warm, salty water. Encourage healing of the affected area by eating softer foods and chewing on the opposite side of your mouth. Also, try to avoid smoking or using a straw, as these can dislodge the clot that forms in the hole after extraction.
If you experience intense pain a few days after an extraction, you may have a condition known as dry socket, which occurs when a blood clot fails to form or is dislodged prematurely, exposing the bone. In this case, you will need to see the dentist who will help to rectify the problem and alleviate any pain.
Oral surgery is any medical procedure that is performed on the mouth, especially involving the teeth, gums or jaw. This type of surgery is performed by Dr Bruce Strickland. Oral surgery performed in a dental practice is quite common and normally only requires a local anaesthetic. Procedures include:
If a broken or decayed tooth cannot be repaired with a filling or other restorative treatment, it may have to be extracted. Tooth extraction involves removing the tooth from its socket in the bone. Reasons for removing a tooth include:
- Extensive decay or a broken tooth that cannot be repaired.
- A baby tooth that has failed to fall out and is preventing a permanent tooth from emerging.
- An impacted wisdom tooth – wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to emerge, but if there is not sufficient space in the mouth, they may come through at an angle or fail to fully erupt. This can result in the tooth becoming ‘impacted’, which can cause swelling, pain and infection of the surrounding gum area.
- The need to make more space for orthodontic treatment to reduce crowding and so optimum results can be achieved.
An extraction will either be a simple extraction, performed on a tooth that can be seen in the mouth, or a surgical extraction which is used for a tooth that has broken off at the gum line or has not yet emerged.
Dental implants are a long-lasting solution to missing teeth and can also provide increased stability to a new or existing denture. They consist of tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone to act as substitute tooth roots. Once these metal posts have fused with the jawbone and healed, they are used as supports for replacement teeth.
Jaw related problems
This type of surgery is performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons and common reasons for carrying it out include:
- Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ) – the temporomandibular joint is located in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet. Joint surgery can help with disorders of this small joint which can commonly cause headaches and facial pain.
- Trauma to the jaw
- Malocclusion (an incorrect ‘bite’)
- Clenching or grinding of the teeth
- Improving the fit of dentures – surgery can be carried out to correct irregularities of the jaw so dentures will be a better fit.
- Difficulty chewing or eating, opening the mouth or talking
- Incorrect jaw position which may lead to an unbalanced facial appearance
Detection and treatment of disease
During regular check-ups, dentists will look for signs of oral cancer and if necessary a surgical biopsy may be undertaken. This involves removing a small sample of abnormal growth or tissue for testing. If cancer is detected, surgery can also be used as a treatment method.