Tooth extraction is not a procedure you want but one that is sometimes the best for your smile. Because the goal is always to save every natural tooth, our Hudsonville dentists keep extraction out of the question until all other restorative options have been exhausted. When that happens, tooth removal becomes the solution. Here’s what you need to know about tooth extraction and when our dentists may recommend it’s time to move forward with having teeth pulled. What to Expect for the Procedure Before removing any teeth, our dentists will start by reviewing both your medical and dental history. It’s common for a few X-rays to also happen at this time. X-ray images of any tooth in question will help our dentists understand its length, shape, and position. With all appropriate information reviewed, our dentists will numb the area surrounding your tooth using local anesthetic. Thanks to the numbing, you should not feel pain during the extraction. If you experience discomfort at any point or would prefer laughing gas be used as well, please let our dentists know. After the tooth and gum tissue are properly numbed, we’ll loosen the tooth with an “elevator”, a tool commonly used in extractions. The tooth will then be fully removed using dental forceps. The entire procedure is straightforward and rather quick from start to finish. Simple vs. Surgical Extractions Our Hudsonville dentists primarily handle simple tooth extractions but we do also offer surgical extractions when needed. The difference between the two lies in their general procedure with one being a bit more intensive than the other. Simple tooth extractions involve our dentists removing teeth that are clearly visible. By this, we mean above the gumline. Surgical tooth extractions, on the other hand, are more complex and deal with teeth that are either broken at the gumline or those that have not yet erupted. Most patients require a surgical extraction for wisdom teeth removal. Otherwise, it’s more likely that severe issues with your current teeth can be dealt with using the simple extraction process. You May Need a Tooth Pulled If You Have: 1) Deep Tooth Decay Our dentists will always recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once daily. Incorporating these actions into your daily routine will greatly improve the short and long term health of your smile. When oral care is ignored, decay sets in. Cavities are easier to work with and may only require tooth-colored fillings or a crown to save the tooth. However, when decay reaches your tooth’s pulp (inner portion containing nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue), it can cause infection. If caught earlier, our dentists can perform a root canal procedure but if left untreated, extraction may be the only way to limit the infection’s spread. Unchecked decay related to gum disease may also lead to tooth removal being the primary solution. 2) Irreparable Tooth Injury or Damage Experiencing a blow to the mouth during a sports game or other accidental incident is never fun. If teeth weren’t immediately knocked out, they may have been cracked or otherwise severely damaged. This can cause issues down the line if not rectified. When there is enough tooth damage, our dentists have no choice but to resort to extraction for the sake of your entire smile. 3) Severe Crowding of Teeth Sometimes there just isn’t enough space in your mouth for all of your teeth. Extracting teeth for this reason is commonly done when making room for orthodontic treatment. That’s because your teeth can’t be properly moved into position if there is no room left. If you’re planning on moving forward with Invisalign® or our dentists are referring you to a local orthodontist for braces, we can discuss whether extraction is needed or not. We Can Save Your Smile No matter what leads to your tooth extraction, our dentists in Hudsonville, MI, will always brief you beforehand so you’re aware of what needs to be done. Call Hudsonville Dental today at (616) 209-4024 to schedule an appointment and learn more about how to keep your smile healthy.