Types of Dentoalveolar Procedures
Extraction of a tooth or retained root
Your surgeon usually needs to make an incision in the gum to remove the tooth or root. A small piece of bone may require removal to get to the tooth. The tooth may be divided into segments so it can be removed easily and safely.
Some teeth are easy to remove whilst others may be more difficult. Some difficult extractions may carry a significant risk of injury to nearby nerves, however your surgeon will determine the risk/benefit profile of undertaking the extraction/s and discuss this in detail with you.
Some difficult extractions are generally due to:
- Adjacent teeth having crowns or large fillings.
- A major nerve (dentoalveolar nerve) near the tooth to be extracted.
- Roots that are large and curved, or that penetrate deeply into the jaw bone or that have been root filled.
- An unerupted or impacted tooth, or a tooth fused to the jaw bone (ankylosis).
The incision in your gum may require closure with stitches.
Following extraction of a tooth, nearby teeth often move out of their normal position and tilt into the gap. This can produce difficulty with biting and chewing. It may also predispose you to decay and gum disease around the tilted teeth as cleaning can be difficult.
To prevent teeth from moving into the gap, a bridge, plate or dental implant may be necessary.
Every effort is made to preserve teeth because they function better than artificial teeth such as dentures, bridges or implants.
Teeth are extracted less frequently these days because:
- Modern methods have improved the chances of salvaging a tooth
- Retention of teeth is usually better than extraction.
Sometimes extraction is the best treatment option. The aim is to achieve the best possible outcome over the long term whilst giving you the most satisfactory function and appearance possible.