Having a tooth pulled in adulthood is sometimes necessary.
Dr. Igal Elyassi’s, team of experts will do everything they can to save your natural teeth, from filling cavities to root canal therapy to keep a tooth from dying.
There are times when extraction is the best way to preserve the health and integrity of the rest of your mouth as well as your physical health.
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There are other good reasons:
Although permanent teeth were meant to last a lifetime, there are a number of reasons why tooth extraction may be needed. A very common reason involves a tooth that is too badly damaged, from trauma or decay, to be repaired. Other reasons include:
A crowded mouth. Sometimes dentists pull teeth to prepare the mouth for orthodontia. The goal of orthodontia is to properly align the teeth, which may not be possible if your teeth are too big for your mouth. Likewise, if a tooth cannot break through the gum (erupt) because there is not room in the mouth for it, your dentist may recommend pulling it.
If tooth decay or damage extends to the pulp — the center of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels — bacteria in the mouth can enter the pulp, leading to infection. Often this can be corrected with root canal therapy (RCT), but if the infection is so severe that antibiotics or RCT do not cure it, extraction may be needed to prevent the spread of infection.
Risk of infection. If your immune system is compromised (for example, if you are receiving chemotherapy or are having an organ transplant), even the risk of infection in a particular tooth may be reason enough to pull the tooth.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease. If periodontal disease — an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth — have caused loosening of the teeth, it may be necessary to the pull the tooth or teeth.
Wisdom teeth sometimes don’t have enough room to grow properly, becoming “impacted” between other teeth, the jaw, and gums, causing other teeth to move out of alignment. They can become infected and painful and must be removed.
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Before an extraction, a digital x-ray (which minimizes radiation) will be taken to determine whether to remove a tooth (in complex cases, a 3-D CT scan may also be required). Sometimes, a bone graft will need to be done to replace the area of the jaw that was underneath the tooth, which has deteriorated.
Los Angeles dentist Dr. Elyassi and his team provide many choices for numbing the area before surgery, including a local anesthetic injection, nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas), and full IV-drip sedation.
What to Tell Your Dentist before having a tooth pulled
Although having a tooth pulled is usually very safe, the procedure can allow harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. Gum tissue is also at risk of infection. If you have a condition that puts you at high risk for developing a severe infection, you may need to take antibiotics before and after the extraction.
Before having a tooth pulled, let your dentist know your complete medical history, the medications, and supplements you take, and if you have one of the following:
Damaged or man-made heart valves
Congenital heart defect
Impaired immune system
Liver disease (cirrhosis)
The artificial joint, such as a hip replacement
History of bacterial endocarditis
After You’ve Had a Tooth Pulled
Following an extraction, your dentist will send you home to recover. Recovery typically takes a few days. The following can help minimize discomfort, reduce the risk of infection, and speed recovery.