Despite even the best oral heath habits and care, sometimes a tooth must be removed. Infection, fractures or orthodontic correction are both common reasons for extractions, and even “baby” teeth can create problems when they fail to fall out naturally.
Typically a quick, simple procedure, the dentist simply moves the tooth within the socket, expanding the space and separating the tooth from the ligament holding it in place to allow removal. For patients concerned about possible discomfort, however, oral sedation or nitrous oxide inhalation (“laughing gas”) is available.
In many cases, it’s also important to discuss replacing an extracted tooth with an implant or bridge. Missing teeth can cause adjacent teeth to shift, leading to jaw problems or difficulty chewing. Facial tissue can also collapse where teeth are missing, creating the appearance of premature aging.