Saving your natural teeth is always preferable. However, when a tooth is too damaged to be restored, it may need to be extracted. At our Chicago, IL, dental practice, Dr. Robert W. Hessberger can perform a tooth extraction to preserve your oral health. Dr. Hessberger is a fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and can replace extracted teeth with dental implant-supported restorations.
Why Is Tooth Extraction Necessary?
Whenever a tooth becomes damaged or decayed, the first treatment consideration involves repairing the tooth with a filling, crown, or other dental restoration. However, in some cases, the damage is too extensive to repair predictably. If the long-term prognosis is questionable or poor, an extraction will likely be recommended. Tooth extractions are also necessary when:
- Gum disease has caused irreversible mobility
- Extra teeth are present
- Baby teeth do not fall out when they should
- Extra room is necessary for orthodontic treatment
- Root canal therapy has failed to eradicate an infection
- A damaged tooth is threatening the health of adjacent teeth
Some people have room in their jaws for wisdom teeth, but in most cases, these will also need to be extracted.
Simple vs. Surgical Extraction
In some cases, a tooth is mostly intact with the crown portion completely visible above the gum line. In these instances, Dr. Hessberger can perform a simple extraction to remove the tooth. This process involves loosening the tissues around the tooth and carefully lifting it from the socket with forceps.
If the long-term prognosis is questionable or poor, an extraction will likely be recommended.
However, if a tooth is fractured at the gum line or has not erupted above the gums, a surgical extraction is often necessary. During this procedure, Dr. Hessberger will make a small incision in the gums to access the root and underlying bone. In some cases, he will divide the tooth into segments for easier removal. Once the tooth is extracted, the site may be closed with stitches.
Preparing for Your Tooth Extraction
During an initial consultation with Dr. Hessberger, he will perform a thorough assessment of the tooth. X-rays and scans will also be taken so that he can visualize the root and jawbone underneath. This process will help Dr. Hessberger determine the most effective method for tooth removal. He will also discuss your medical history with you in detail to make sure there are no concerns that could impede the success of your treatment. In some cases, pre-operative antibiotics may be recommended to treat dental infection prior to your procedure. After gathering all the necessary information, Dr. Hessberger will design a personalized treatment plan to meet your needs. Once this is complete, we will schedule you for your tooth extraction.
The Recovery Timeline
As with any oral surgery procedure, some degree of discomfort and swelling can be anticipated. However, taking your prescription medications along with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can help minimize these side effects. Generally, any swelling will continue up to three days after your procedure and will then gradually diminish. Your recovery timeline will largely depend on the complexity of your treatment and the size of the tooth that was removed. In most cases, initial healing is complete by the end of the first week, with full recovery taking place over the next few months.
The Importance of Tooth Replacement
If a tooth must be removed, we recommend replacing it for optimal health and function. When a tooth is missing, it can affect the way your bite fits together. Over time, this can lead to shifting, mobility, and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). There are several options for replacing a missing tooth, including dental implants. Dr. Hessberger places and restores implants for the convenience of our patients.