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Tooth extractions

Tooth extractions handled with compassion in Alliston, ON

Dr. Oksana Vozna works hard to help patients in the Alliston, ON area keep their natural teeth. Yet there are circumstances when tooth extractions are necessary. You can count on the team at Dominion Street Dental for the gentlest treatment possible, administered with genuine concern for your well-being.

When tooth extraction might be advisable

Nature designed the elements of your mouth to work together for optimal respiration, digestion, and communication. Generally, is important to preserve that balance. However, tooth extraction may be in the best interest of your oral condition, overall health, and appearance in the following situations:

  • Severe damage – A large area of untreated decay, a big piece broken off a tooth, or a sizeable restoration that has broken or come loose may render the tooth unrestorable
  • Breakage below the gum line – When the natural crown is broken off below gum tissue, or fractures extend to roots, a tooth cannot usually be saved; this is often an emergency tooth extraction
  • Infection or abscess – In some cases, a badly infected tooth can be salvaged with root canal therapy, but extraction may be necessary
  • Failed endodontic treatment – While the success rate for root canal treatment is very good, there are variables outside the dentist’s control; in some cases, trapped bacteria trigger further problems in the tooth or surrounding bone, requiring extraction
  • Failed re-implantation – Oftentimes an avulsed (knocked out) tooth can be placed back into position, where bone fuses with roots to hold it in place; however, this is not always successful, and the tooth may ultimately have to come out
  • Risk of infection – The health of a patient who has a compromised immune system or organ transplant is fragile, and risk of systemic infection is a significant threat; removing a problematic tooth might be safer than treating it
  • Orthodontics – If teeth are crowded, an orthodontist may recommend having some removed (usually premolars) for more effective and efficient straightening
  • Dentures – If you have only a few existing natural teeth and they are not healthy, you may choose to have them removed in preparation for receiving full dentures
  • Hyperdontia – Up to four percent of the population has supernumerary teeth – extra teeth that crowd other teeth or emerge inside or outside the bony ridge

Third molars, also known “wisdom teeth,” do not, categorically, require extraction. However, wisdom tooth extraction is recommended if the tooth has not fully emerged through bone and gum tissue, or is impacted in bone. Wisdom teeth are large, so they may crowd otherwise healthy teeth if the arch does not allow sufficient space. They can also develop cysts and cause mouth pain and headaches.

What to expect when getting a tooth pulled

At Dominion Street Dental, extractions are generally a low-stress experience. Dr. Vozna begins with a comprehensive examination of your mouth and a consultation to understand your symptoms and concerns. You will discuss your current medical status and medications you are taking. If you have certain conditions such as heart valve replacement, congenital heart defect, artificial joint, liver disease, or impaired immune system, Dr. Vozna may prescribe oral antibiotics to take before the extraction.

If extraction is recommended, your return appointment is scheduled. Please arrange for someone to accompany you on the day of your procedure, so you can get home safely. If you are nervous about the extraction, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can be administered to help you relax.

Your mouth is numbed with injections of local anesthetic to prevent pain, and then Dr. Vozna starts the extraction. For an impacted tooth, an incision is made in gum tissue and a small amount of bone is removed to expose the tooth. (This step is, of course, not needed for extraction of a fully-emerged tooth.) Dr. Vozna’s goal is to minimize trauma, so a large molar or stubborn tooth may be cut into several pieces for easier removal. The doctor grasps the tooth with forceps. Using a gentle rocking motion, the tooth is loosened from connective ligaments and bone. It is then lifted out of the socket with an instrument called a dental elevator. Depending on the location and size of the tooth, a few sutures may be placed to facilitate soft tissue healing. A sterile gauze pad is placed over the socket, and you are instructed to bite down to halt bleeding.

It is important for a blood clot to form to protect exposed nerves in the socket. You receive thorough but simple home care instructions to avoid dislodging the clot (resulting in a painful dry socket) and to speed healing. If this condition occurs, however, please call Dominion Street Dental right away. Dr. Vozna will place a sedative dressing to relieve discomfort and protect the socket while a new clot forms.

Plan to relax the rest of the day, and possibly take the next day off work or school. You may have some facial swelling or bruising, but residual discomfort can usually be managed with ice packs and analgesics. Eat soft foods for a few days as the extraction site heals, gradually returning to a normal diet. If the doctor prescribes pain medication or antibiotics, please be sure to take them as directed.

Where to find a dentist in Alliston, ON for tooth extractions

As a general dentist, Dr. Vozna is trained, qualified, and experienced in performing most extractions. If yours is a very complex case, she provides a referral to a trusted oral surgeon. Dr. Vozna also offers tooth replacement options such as dentures, fixed bridges, and tooth implant services to restore your smile after extractions. While OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) does not cover dental services, coverage for tooth extraction cost may be provided by other insurance plans. The friendly administrative staff at Dominion Street Dental is happy to assist in obtaining a coverage estimate on your behalf.

With good oral care, you may never need an extraction. If you do, however, the Dominion Street Dental team is here to provide compassionate care. Call (705) 435-4124 to become a patient.