Tooth Extraction / Removal
With the exception of wisdom teeth removal, which is recommended to reduce your risk of developing additional oral health issues, we will do everything we can to ensure you keep all your natural teeth. There are times, however, when a tooth extraction is the best treatment option available.
A tooth extraction may be necessary under the following circumstances:
- Infection: When a tooth is cracked or has a serious cavity, the connective tissue inside that tooth (the pulp) is at an increased risk of being infected. Once the pulp becomes damaged or infected, a person will begin to experience significant pain. If the infection is not treated soon enough, the tooth will need to be extracted to prevent the infection from reaching your jawbone and to alleviate pain.
- Trauma: A tooth that experiences significant trauma can develop cracks or fractures. Oftentimes these can be covered with fillings or dental crowns to prevent the spread of decay, however when the trauma is significant and not able to be addressed with a filling or a crown, a tooth extraction may be necessary to relieve pain and prevent surrounding teeth from being negatively impacted.
- Gum Disease: Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Gum disease develops when an excessive amount of plaque or tartar builds up around your gum line, which causes your gums to recede and creates pockets that deepen, allowing for more bacteria to develop and increasing your risk of infection. If left untreated, your gums will continue to recede to the point where your teeth loosen, at which point a tooth extraction may be necessary to alleviate pain and restore your oral health.
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Benefits of Removing Wisdom Teeth
Although it is possible for wisdom teeth to grow in perfectly straight and not cause any oral health issues to develop, for most people this will not be the case. Because wisdom teeth do not serve a critical function and because they increase a person’s risk of misalignment, it is recommended that patients have their wisdom teeth removed. In addition to reducing your risk of misalignment, removal of wisdom teeth also reduces your risk of damaging nearby teeth, decreases your risk of oral disease and inflammation, relieves tooth and gum sensitivity and pressure caused by wisdom teeth, which can also cause chronic headaches, and helps prevent cysts and tumors from developing in your jawbone.
Tooth Extraction Process
The tooth extraction process begins with an initial consultation with Dr. Hamrick, who will conduct a thorough oral examination to determine whether a tooth extraction is necessary, and if so, the underlying issue. At your next appointment, Dr. Hamrick will first clean your mouth then numb the area to reduce or eliminate discomfort. Dental sedation will also be available to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the procedure. Next, Dr. Hamrick will loosen your tooth using an elevator and remove the tooth using forceps. You will likely feel pressure while the tooth is being removed, but will not feel pain.
If your tooth requires surgical extraction because it is impacted, Dr. Hamrick will first cut away the gum and bone tissue that is covering the tooth before removing it. For more difficult cases, the tooth will be removed in pieces. Once the tooth has been removed, the extraction site is stitched up so it can begin the healing process.
Healing Process and Maintenance
Following a tooth extraction, it is important to follow a soft food diet, sticking with foods like applesauce, smoothies, or broth or blended soups. As the healing process progresses, you can slowly reintroduce harder foods. It is also important to not use a straw for at least 72 hours and avoid use of tobacco for at least one week to reduce your risk of developing a dry socket and ensure a fast recovery process.
It is also important to follow good oral hygiene habits to avoid needing similar procedures in the future. Be sure to continue brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily, eat a healthy and balanced diet, and avoid use of tobacco. We also encourage our clients to schedule regular dental cleanings at least every six months to ensure the health and sustained brightness of your smile. In addition to giving your teeth a professional cleaning, these visits are also an opportunity for Dr. Preston Hamrick to evaluate your overall oral health, as he looks for any indications of gum disease or any other underlying issue that may require treatment.
Cost of Tooth Extraction
The total cost of having a tooth extracted will depend on the difficulty of removing the tooth (whether the tooth is impacted or not) and the number of teeth that are extracted.
For patients with dental insurance, the total cost of your tooth extraction will depend on whether the procedure is covered under your plan, and if so, how much is covered. Our staff are happy to review your coverage to determine whether your plan covers tooth extraction and ensure you maximize your benefits and have minimal out of pocket expenses.
If you are a patient at our practice and do not have dental insurance, consider joining our membership club. Because we value your loyalty, we have launched this club to help save you money on treatment and simplify payments for preventative care. We offer three levels of membership: child, adult, and perio membership. Professional dental cleanings, doctor exams, necessary X-rays, and a 5% discount on all other treatment (some exclusions apply) are included in all membership packages.
You can sign up today and start saving money on treatment online or call us at (864) 292-5125.
For your convenience, we accept all forms of credit and debit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.
Fall in Love with Your Smile Again
At Heritage Dentistry in Greenville, South Carolina, we are committed to providing 5-star customer service that is relationship based, along with a comprehensive range of treatment options that will ensure your sustained oral health and make you fall in love with your smile again. To schedule a consultation for a tooth extraction or wisdom teeth removal or learn more about our services, contact our Greenville dental team today at (684) 292-5125.