There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt.
At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth and jaw at risk, so we may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.
When it is determined that a tooth needs to be removed, Dr. Howard may extract it during a regular checkup or schedule another visit for this procedure. The root of each tooth is encased within your jawbone in a “tooth socket,” and your tooth is held in that socket by a ligament.
In order to extract a tooth, a dentist must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place. While this procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share with us any concerns or preferences for sedation.
Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift, which can cause problems with chewing or your jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, Dr. Howard may recommend you replace the extracted tooth.
Conditions and Treatments
Dr. Howard has many years of education and hands-on training to provide treatment for a wide range of conditions.
Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to develop. Sometimes they emerge from the gum line, and the jaw is large enough to allow room for them, but more often than not, they fail to emerge and become impacted. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed.
Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons strongly recommends that wisdom teeth be removed by the time the patient is a young adult in order to prevent future problems and to ensure optimal healing.
It is recommended that everyone perform an oral cancer self-exam each month. If you notice white or red patches, an abnormal lump, chronic sore throat or hoarseness, or difficulty chewing or swallowing, you should contact our office.
Dental implants are long-term replacements for missing teeth that an oral and maxillofacial surgeon surgically places in the jawbone. Composed of titanium metal that fuses with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration, dental implants do not slip or decay. They offer the most natural and long-lasting tooth replacement option.