Sometimes it is necessary to extract a tooth. This situation can arise for a variety of reasons. Extractions are commonly performed in cases where a deciduous “baby” tooth is reluctant to fall out, a severely broken down and non-restorable tooth is present, or a “wisdom tooth” is poorly positioned and unable to erupt into place.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are often referred patients by general dentists as well as dental specialists for the extraction of permanent or primary teeth that are erupted, unerupted, fractured, severely broken down, or ankylosed (fused to the surrounding bone). With their extensive training in both medicine and dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are also called upon to treat patients who are undergoing complex medical treatment, have certain medical conditions or take specific medications that can influence dental extractions as well as healing and recovery from all types of oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures.
In addition to providing skilled, knowledgeable, precise, and experienced care in all situations for which dental extractions are required, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained in all methods of dental anesthesia and sedation to ensure patient comfort throughout every procedure.
Following all dental extractions, our oral and maxillofacial surgeon will provide detailed instructions for post-operative care and any follow-up appointments as required.
The most common reasons for tooth loss include advanced periodontal disease, extensive tooth decay, and facial trauma. According to statistics, gum disease is responsible for close to 70% of tooth loss in adults. Although less frequent than the preceding three reasons, it should also be noted that specific diseases, drugs, smoking, and poor nutrition contribute to the risk of tooth loss.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that in the United States, an average of 12 teeth (including the wisdom teeth) are lost by the age of 50. Also, 26% of adults between 65 and 74 years of age have lost all their teeth.
Every patient and every situation is different. However, when a tooth and the surrounding tissues are numbed with a local anesthetic, you should only expect to feel a bit of pressure, but no pain as the tooth is being loosened from the surrounding tissues and extracted. For patients who are apprehensive and for some surgical extractions, our office will discuss our options in dental sedation to provide further relaxation and reduce any sense of discomfort.
While it's normal to feel some tenderness and swelling following an extraction, the degree of these sensations can vary. It mostly depends on the complexity of the extraction and the body's response to the procedure. We'll recommend or prescribe the appropriate pain medication to help ensure your comfort and give you specific instructions for maximum effectiveness and safety.
Typically, the recovery period following a simple extraction is shorter than a surgical extraction. However, a patient's overall health, habits, and the size and location of the tooth, and other variables can influence recovery and healing. To speed up the recovery and avoid any complications, patients must follow the given at-home instructions diligently. We'll carefully review what to expect following your procedure and go over your post-op instructions.
Smoking interferes with blood clot formation, which is an essential first step in the healing process. Blot clot formation not only provides a protective layer to cover the underlying exposed bone and nerve endings, but it also supports the growth of new tissue. Cigarette smoke also contains chemical toxins that can disrupt the healing process and lead to problems such as continued inflammation, infection, or dry socket.
In a very small percentage of cases, a condition known as dry socket can develop in the aftermath of a dental extraction. This painful condition can arise when the blood clot in the extraction site doesn't form properly or gets dislodged. With dry socket, you may experience throbbing pain and symptoms such as bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth. As skilled providers of care, our office will provide immediate treatment to alleviate your discomfort and promote healing.
The last teeth in your mouth to develop, wisdom teeth often do not have enough room to fully erupt or may be positioned in the wrong direction. These issues can affect your dental health as well as overall wellbeing. While some individuals never develop all their wisdom teeth, and a few have sufficient space for them, there are many people with partially or fully impacted third molars. Our office will monitor the development, position, and health of your wisdom teeth and will advise you if and when extractions are indicated.
After a tooth is removed, bone-grafting material is sometimes placed in the socket to promote healing and encourage new bone development. This procedure is often performed to support the eventual and successful placement of a dental implant.
At the office of Lititz Oral Surgery, we strive to make dental care affordable and accessible. Depending on the type or complexity of the extraction and other variables, the cost of the procedure can vary. Based on our diagnostic findings, our office will inform you of the healthiest choices in care, explain the fees, discuss insurance coverage, and explain your payment options.
Many dental plans offer some level of coverage for tooth extractions. We'll advise you if your plan covers the full cost of the procedure and if there is any out-of-pocket expense. Our business office will work with you to maximize your insurance benefits as much as possible while helping you minimize any out-of-pocket expenses.