There are a number of situations in which a simple extraction can help alleviate pain or prepare you for another cosmetic or restorative procedure. Some common reasons for extractions include but are not limited to:
- Advanced periodontal disease that has loosened the tooth roots
- Extra teeth or baby teeth that obstruct adult teeth
- Preparing a patient for orthodontic treatment
- Removing a fractured or ill-proportioned tooth
- Severe tooth decay which cannot be remedied with root canal therapy
As a precaution, X-rays are taken of the tooth or teeth in question, to help plan the procedure. After preparing a method of extraction, you will be given a local anesthetic that will prevent you from feeling pain during the procedure. Next, a tool called an elevator is used to lift the tooth and loosen ligaments and gum tissue around the base of the tooth. Finally, the dentist will use a pair of forceps, to gently rock the tooth back and forth until it breaks free of the ligaments holding it in the gum tissue. Occasionally, a tooth may resist the soft tugging from the dentist, refusing to come out. In this case, the tooth may need to be broken up into smaller pieces for removal.