At Geelan Dental Care, dental extractions are considered an important part of dental care for many clients. Extractions are not usually the first option considered for damaged teeth. This is because we feel that having the use of a full set of natural teeth is the best option. In many instances where a tooth has been damaged by physical impact or decay, other solutions are preferred. This can include fillings, root canals, and veneers. Where such options are no longer viable, extraction may be considered.

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When the damage to the tooth as a result of tooth decay is extensive, then extraction becomes the best option. Allowing a decayed tooth to remain in place can exacerbate symptoms like pain and increase the risk of a severe infection that will spread. Infections can even penetrate the jaw bone and travel to other parts of the body. Advanced damage from periodontal disease can result in severely decayed and loosened teeth in need of extraction. With front facing teeth, tooth decay can also become an unsightly cosmetic problem as the enamel becomes eroded and discolored.

Impacted teeth tend to continue traveling through and breaking gum tissue. They can also push on surrounding teeth and their roots, causing pain and pressure within the gums. Damage to soft tissue can increase the likelihood of infection. Another condition that may prompt the need for extraction has a crowded mouth. Some people have teeth that are too big for their mouths. This affects the alignment of teeth and can encourage impacting. Extraction of one or more teeth can help create much-needed space for correction.


An extraction requires that the tooth be removed from its socket in the bone. To fully understand the extent of the damage to the tooth and how it is positioned, we will take an x-ray before the procedure. This will guide us on how to approach the extraction and determine the difficulty of the procedure. Extraction is simplest when the tooth is fully erupted above the gum line and loosened. The area is then anesthetized, the tooth is elevated and then pulled out using forceps. Some cleaning out of the area and contouring of the underlying bone may be done before a suture or stitch is used to close up.

In more serious cases, such as where the tooth is not fully erupted, or the damage has resulted in the tooth breaking up, a surgical extraction may be called for. Again, depending on the severity of the damage and work needed to extract the tooth, the patient may need to be put under general anesthesia. This is less stressful for the patient who becomes unaware of any bone and tissue being cut away during the procedure. It is common for our surgeon to need to remove the tooth in pieces.

To find out if you need an extraction and how to best to have it done, contact Geelan Dental Care at (503) 223-1322 and see us today.