Patients often express surprise about how easy it is for daily activities to seriously injure their teeth, in many cases resulting in the need to extract those that are beyond saving.
Habits like using teeth to pry off bottle caps, pulling off clothing, just chewing on the end of a pen, eating hard foods or even biting on ice can cause them to be fractured or seriously chipped.
Playing non-contact sports with friends can seem safe enough to not wear a sports mouthguard, yet an elbow or a ball can knock out teeth.
A quick trip to the store can result in a car accident that cracks a tooth.
It is easy to get busy and not brush for a full two minutes after breakfast and dinner and floss before bedtime every day. The tiny particles of food left on teeth turn into a sticky film called plaque that infects the gums and soon they pull away their support and one or more need to be extracted.
A simple cavity can become so bad that a filling is not enough to save the tooth.
Sometimes teeth affected by oral cancer, which weakens the immune system, or radiation, need to be removed.
But more commonly, tooth extraction is advised because some teeth are overcrowding the arch, making them hard to clean and causing others to move. This is especially true of so-called wisdom teeth, the back molars, which are commonly extracted when patients are in their teens because more often than not they cause misalignment and damage other teeth.
In other cases, taking out some teeth is the first step in preparing for straightening the overall bite.
The good news is that Dr. Louie is an expert at extracting problem teeth, whatever the reason. The procedure is painless, starting with a topical numbing solution, then a pinprick injection of anesthesia at the site. If you tend to feel anxious before even minor surgery, a mild oral sedation is available to help you relax, and for those who are very sensitive, a strong pain pill is available that will make you drowsy or even fall asleep. Even an IV drip is an option, which would put you in a deep state of relaxation during the procedure, but you would remain conscious.
Afterwards, you will be given a prescription for pain medication, if ibuprofen is not enough.
The first step in deciding whether a tooth needs to be extracted is to have a full dental examination by Dr. Louie. Make an appointment today before a loose or cracked tooth becomes an emergency.