Simple Extraction and Surgical Extraction
We generally refer to extraction in two different categories, either simple extractions or surgical extractions.
- Simple Extraction: Simple extractions are done if a tooth fully erupts, and Dr. Dose can visually see the tooth in the patient’s mouth. Dr. Dose will use a dental tool, known as an elevator to loosen the tooth and then extract it using forceps. Extraction is not entirely pain-free, but the patient will be prepared anesthetized using a local anesthetic and then advised on some post-op tips to reduce pain and swelling. A simple extraction can quickly turn into a surgical extraction.
- Surgical Extraction: Surgical extractions are more complex extractions. We use the term surgical because cuts need to be made in order to remove the tooth. A surgical extraction is required when the tooth is not fully erupted or has fractured at the gum line. Wisdom teeth extractions are often surgical extractions. The process to surgically remove a tooth involves making the necessary incision, in some cases, Dr. Dose may need to remove some bone around the tooth. In some cases, Dr. Dose may need to section the tooth and remove it piece by piece. This procedure is most often done with a local anesthetic, but in some situations, we may recommend general anesthesia. Surgical extractions often require an extra day or two of healing versus simple extractions, and we may prescribe medication to relieve pain.
Problems Associated With Wisdom Teeth
According to the American Dental Association, wisdom teeth can cause a large variety of issues and may need to be evaluated to see if they should be removed:
- Wisdom teeth may often erupt at an angle or lying on their side. When that happens, they may only erupt partially over the gum line and can trap food, resulting in a buildup of plaque.
- Impacted wisdom teeth are also notoriously difficult to clean since they are so far in the back of the mouth. Since they are also tilted, it can be difficult to floss between them and the molars next to them.
- Impacted wisdom teeth may allow the bacteria to enter the gum line and create infections that can go deep.
- Wisdom teeth may cause pain, tenderness, and swelling of the jaw or form a cyst near the impacted tooth.
- Impacted wisdom teeth may damage the roots or supporting bones of the molars next to them as well as crowd near them so that your molars shift out of place.
- Even wisdom teeth that do not show any outward symptoms can still harbor disease.
Wisdom tooth extraction is a very safe and minimally invasive oral surgery that can resolve these problems. People who have had their wisdom teeth removed rarely experience any significant complications.
Your teeth play many important roles in your daily life. They bite and chew. They control airflow when you speak. They give you a beautiful, confident smile. Of all of your teeth, the maxillary canines are two of the most important. Along with these daily functions, these teeth aid in guiding your jaw into proper alignment when you bite down. These critical teeth are the second most likely teeth to become impacted, or unable to erupt properly through the gum tissue, following right behind the wisdom teeth.
Extracting the wisdom teeth does not have any effect on the functions of your mouth or your smile. Extracting wisdom teeth can be quite beneficial and improve your oral health. Extracting your maxillary canines, however, can be detrimental, harming the functions of your mouth and diminishing your smile. Nicholas Dose, DMD Family Dental Care, we can expose impacted canines and bring them into proper alignment, improving your oral hygiene and functions of your mouth. We do this using oral surgery.
The Importance of Your Canines
Unlike your wisdom teeth, the maxillary canines have several essential functions.
- They aid in keeping the rest of your teeth in proper alignment. Crooked teeth can lead to a variety of different issues, including grinding, uneven wear on the teeth, a diminished smile, and jaw pain.
- They play an important role in the alignment of your whole mouth. When you bite down, the maxillary canines are the first teeth to touch down, helping to bring the rest of the jaw into proper alignment.
- They complete your beautiful smile. The adult maxillary canines are the last to emerge, erupting around the age of 13. When they finally arrive, they help to fill in the last remaining gaps in your smile.
What Causes Impacted Canines?
Your maxillary canines can become impacted for a number of different reasons, including:
- Your teeth are overcrowded. If your front teeth are misaligned, it can lead to overcrowding. In this case, there is usually not enough space for the maxillary canines to come in.
- You have extra teeth. If you have developed extra teeth, the path of the maxillary canines can become blocked.
- You have a growth on your gums, which can block the maxillary canines, preventing them from erupting.
Treating Impacted Canines
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of 7. This evaluation is recommended in order to spot any potential developmental issues, including impacted canines, that may need treatment later on. With early detection, an orthodontist can help the child prevent future issues with canines. The orthodontist places a special brace in the mouth, which works to hold the space open for the adult canines to erupt on their own. Younger patients do not usually require surgery unless teeth need to be extracted.
As you get older, it becomes less likely that your unerupted canines will come in on their own. This is where we come in. First, we remove any teeth that are blocking the path of your maxillary canines. Next, we make incisions in the gum tissue, exposing the impacted canine underneath and bond a bracket to the tooth. A metal chain is attached to the bracket, and this chain is connected to your orthodontic braces. Your orthodontist then places a rubber band on the chain, which provides light pressure to encourage the canine through the gums and into alignment. The whole process takes one year to complete.
Exposing and properly aligning your maxillary canines can greatly improve your oral health, the functions of your mouth, and your appearance.
Are you interested in learning more about what causes impacted canines? Give us a call at (503) 647-4565. We are happy to help you learn more about your smile!