Dentists no longer use Novocain when treating patients. No, this doesn’t mean we’ve somehow managed to make dentistry completely painless (we wish!). Read more
Tooth extraction is when a tooth is removed from it’s place in the gum & bone of your jaw. Compared to many dental procedures, tooth extraction can sound scary, especially when it’s referred to as “oral surgery”. However, we believe that understanding the reasons that an extraction is necessary will ease your mind if you’ve been told you need a tooth removed.
Damage from Decay or Trauma
Dentists will alway try a conservative approach first when trying to repair a tooth that is damaged. However, if the damage is too severe for the usual solutions such as a crown or a filling, the dentist may decide to remove the tooth completely. Teeth sometimes shift into the place where the removed tooth used to be, which can cause problems with your bite. For this reason (& your own comfort) we may recommend putting a bridge, partial denture or dental implant in the space where the missing tooth was.
Tooth extraction can also be a part of orthodontic (or braces) treatment. When teeth are too large for the mouth & are causing problems, teeth may need to removed in order for orthodontic treatment to be completed. The most common reason for tooth extraction in braces treatment is the alleviate crowding, though there are other conditions that may warrant the removal of teeth (such as overbite). Usually teeth are removed symmetrically, so the same 2 teeth in each jaw are removed in order to keep the bite balanced, so a total of 4 teeth would be removed. While tooth extraction for the sake of braces may seem like an extreme choice, but in some cases it is an alternative to more serious surgery to re-align the jaw.
Wisdom teeth are an extra set of adult molars that usually come in when patients are in their late teens or early 20s. Not everyone’s wisdom teeth cause problems, but it is common for them to be impacted, meaning they’ve come in at a funny angle or have failed to come in at all, & trapped under the gum pressing against other teeth. In some cases, wisdom teeth can become infected or cause abscesses, pain or swelling. Wisdom teeth removal is usually recommended on wisdom teeth that are impacted or have otherwise started to cause problems.
Timely Development in Kids
Sometimes a dentist will recommend tooth extraction of baby teeth (also known as primary teeth or “milk” teeth) that have not been lost in a timely fashion. For example, if your dentist sees that your child still has a baby tooth that most children their age would have lost years ago they may recommend extracting it. The reason for such extractions is usually to ensure that permanent adult teeth come in (or erupt) in the right position.
It’s also important that you understand that dentists never take the extraction of a tooth lightly. Our first choice is always conservative treatment (i.e. “conserving” as many teeth in your mouth as possible), but sometimes health or developmental considerations make keeping a tooth inadvisable. No matter the reason, if we’ve recommended tooth extraction as part of your treatment, we will go over the details of what to expect both during & after the procedure, & what the resulting benefit to your health will be.
When we talk to patients about dentistry, one of the main concerns they bring up is whether the dental care they receive will be gentle. As dentists, our main concern of course is your health, but we understand the desire to have a gentle dental care experience. We know it’s not everyday you have to let another person look around your mouth, so we strive to do all we can to make sure your visit & your treatment comfortable, & we mean this in the broadest sense possible.
Gentle Dental Hygienists & Dentists
We pride ourselves on having brought together a team of dental professionals who always use a gentle touch when treating patients. Our dentists & dental hygienists provide meticulous teeth cleanings & take care & time when navigating the delicate structures of your mouth, such as your gums. And we are always happy to make accommodations for you if you have specific sensitivities. If you are uncomfortable in any way, please let us know! We prefer hearing feedback to worrying that you might have endured some kind of discomfort in silence!
Gentle Dental Care Through the Latest Technology
Advances in dental technology, procedures & materials mean that we can take a more conservative approach to dental care than ever before. Plus, many of the technological advances we use at our office result in quicker, more comfortable processes & procedures. Even taking x-rays has become a faster & more efficient process now that we use digital radiograph technology. Technology means being able to catch problems early when they’re easier to fix & shorter recovery times for procedures that were more invasive with the limited instrumentation of the past. We’re living in a bright new future of dentistry & we’re happy to bring all of the best advances in smile care here at our practice.
Gentle Impact on Your Daily Schedule
We know one of the roughest parts about going to your regular teeth cleanings is fitting the visits into your busy schedule. We don’t want anything to stand between you & regular preventive dental care. That’s why we offer teeth cleaning appointments that fit around your work schedule, so you don’t have to take time off to see us. We will always do our best to learn your availability & schedule you into an appropriate time slot in the first place. However, please let us know if an appointment time conflicts with another obligation in your schedule. Asking to reschedule is always preferable to a last-minute cancellation. Seeing you consistently for cleanings is vital to keeping your smile healthy for the long run.