Reasons for extracting teeth
Dentists may pull baby teeth in attempts to speed up the eruption of adult teeth, for orthodontic preparation or if the teeth are decayed beyond repair. Although your adult teeth are intended to last a lifetime, there are a number of reasons why tooth extraction may be needed. The most common reason a tooth is extracted, is due to damage through trauma or decay. Other reasons include:
A crowded mouth- A tooth may be extracted in preparation for orthodontia. The goal of orthodontia is to properly align the teeth and jaw, which may not be possible if there is overcrowding of teeth in the mouth.
Infection- Infection occurs when tooth decay or bacteria in the mouth extends to the pulp (the center of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels). Often, this can be corrected by root canal therapy (RCT), but if RCT or antibiotics do not treat it, extraction may be required to stop the spread of infection.
Risk of infection - If your immune system is compromised, (for example, if you are receiving an organ transplant or chemotherapy) the risk itself may be enough reason to pull the tooth.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction
When are wisdom teeth a problem?
Wisdom teeth can cause a lot of pain often due to the fact that the jaw is not big enough to accommodate the new teeth. Due to a lack of space in the oral cavity, wisdom teeth can become 'impacted' and cause infection. When a wisdom tooth becomes impacted, the problem lies in the direction of tooth growth. If your tooth is growing at an angle toward your other natural teeth, this can cause problems such as crooked teeth and severe pain. This pain is the main reason to be proactive about your wisdom teeth removal.
Do not avoid a wisdom teeth consultation
Between the ages of 17 to 21 years of age, wisdom teeth will generally begin to erupt. During these years, your dentist may recommend a digital panoramic OPG, a type of dental x-ray. It’s important not to be fearful of this consultation as early diagnosis can mean the difference between extreme pain and losing eight teeth instead of four, in the worst case scenario.
If you let your wisdom teeth grow in an impacted direction, then they can run directly into the soft dentine and pulp that is located in the interior of the tooth. Your pulp is where your delicate nerves and dental cells are located and if the hard enamel of an impacted wisdom tooth collides with this then you may find yourself in excruciating pain. In order to avoid this, it’s imperative that you visit Tewantin Dental Centre during the first signs of tooth eruption.
The signs to look out for include slight discomfort and possibly a cushy or inflamed looking gum which can occur due to fluid building up in the crevice of the wisdom tooth below the gum.
What is involved?
Our dental professionals will do everything they can to ensure you are as comfortable as possible throughout your wisdom tooth removal. This can involve pain relief medication such as happy gas as well as heavier forms of sedation or pain relief. Before we begin your wisdom teeth extraction treatment, we will perform a thorough evaluation to search for signs of infection in the tooth pulp, and to determine the best route of treatment.
Panoramic x-ray for wisdom teeth
In a consultation for wisdom teeth removal, the use of the panoramic x-ray or orthopantomogram (OPG) is important in helping to identify impacted wisdom teeth.
The panoramic x-ray is the preferred x-ray method because it can scan the entire upper and lower jaw - from ear to ear, in one shot.
The x-ray machine has a rotating arm that moves around the head to catch the single two-dimensional image, with the process taking around a minute.
Its ability to capture a complete picture of the mouth in a very short time makes it very useful for dentists to identify issues for treatment and offer a speedy diagnosis.
Alongside helping to assess wisdom teeth, the panoramic x-ray can also be used to discover jaw problems and plan treatment for dental implants.
Though this type of x-ray is favoured for ease of use, it's not so efficient in the way of cavity detection unless the decay is deep.
The panoramic x-ray procedure is safe, exposing patients to the machine's radiation for only five and a half to 22 seconds.
The other dental x-rays used to capture images of the teeth are the bitewing, periapical and occlusal.