Oral Surgical Procedures
Surgery is often required when a tooth is too badly damaged for any hope of repair and it needs to be extracted. Another case for removing a tooth is when it causes an overcrowding of teeth. And sometimes tooth removal is necessary due to an extreme periodontal condition, or a badly cracked tooth.
Photo: Impacted Wisdom Tooth
Any time a tooth needs to be extracted it is thought of as an extreme procedure so the dentist will try to look at all options before starting. After the removal, you will have precise instructions to help the area around the extraction heal. Usually a cotton wad is used to stem the bleeding and a cool compress can also be used to reduce swelling and relieve minor pain. Staying away from hard sticky foods may also be needed.
Wisdom teeth sometimes fail to grow in like normal teeth. They are at the rear of the mouth and often grow sideways, impacting (coming into forcible contact with) other teeth, beneath the gumline. This sideways growth often causes infection, cysts, overcrowding, and sometimes pain. X-rays will reveal if a wisdom tooth needs to be removed or not.
A dental implant has been found to be the most effective and most comfortable way of replacing a missing tooth. The earliest implants known to man were performed by the Mayans in 600 BC where they used jade stones or seashells which were found to be fused to the jaw bone. In modern times they started to be introduced again in the 1970’s. The materials and techniques have evolved much since then.
With modern computer equipment a special 3d x-ray can be done to ensure you have the correct amount of bone density necessary for an implant. If there is not enough density a bone-like material may have to be grafted into the jaw bone to increase thickness.
Nowadays implants are usually made of titanium. A small screw is fixed into the jawbone in place of the missing tooth. Eventually the gum heals and the bone and the implant fuse together and are held solidly in place. The crown is easily screwed onto the implant for a totally natural look. Implants are very tough and durable and will usually last for a lifetime.