Tooth removal is required for a wide variety of reasons. The most common reason is from the destruction of tooth decay which prevents the restorability of the tooth. Another reason for extractions are for impacted or problematic wisdom teeth. Extractions of some permanent teeth may also be necessary to create space for orthodontic reasons.
There’s Not Enough Room!
Often the jawbone is too small to hold developing wisdom teeth. When there is not enough room for your wisdom teeth, they can become partially trapped in the jawbone and gums.
The x ray on the left shows decay of the adjacent tooth caused by a trapped wisdom tooth.
Types of Eruptions
Erupting and Unerupted Wisdom Teeth
Erupting wisdom teeth may become problematic and cause sudden and severe pain. To prevent this, it is preferable to remove wisdom teeth at an early stage before the roots are fully developed. As well, when roots are fully developed they may encroach onto the nerve space.
The tooth crown (top part of the tooth) may erupt or just break through the gums. Since the tooth can not fully emerge, the area around the eruption can become infected. Even if they do erupt above the gums, they may be difficult to floss and brush.
Full Bony Impaction
An impacted wisdom tooth has no room to erupt. It usually lies completely within the bone and can be in one of many orientations. Impacted teeth can lead to serious complications. One such complication is that the sac around the impacted tooth can become filled with fluid, enlarging to form a cyst which can cause permanent bone damage. If a cyst is left untreated, a tumour may develop.
Most often the extraction surgery will be done in our office. You may choose to have the treatment completed under oral sedation which is safe and comfortable. Ask your dentist to review the recommended procedures and options specific for you. On rare occasions a referral to an oral surgeon may be suggested.
You also have the option to replace bone into the socket (hole) to maintain the width and height of the bone where your tooth once was. This is important if you are considering an implant. (See implant section)