Cosmetic dentistry is, as the name implies, a group of procedures designed to improve the look of your smile. As with all procedures, there are benefits and risks, and it is important to discuss each procedure, cost, and maintenance with our staff. You are responsible for consulting your insurance company regarding coverage of cosmetic procedures.
Permanent teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but there are times when a tooth must be removed. Extreme decay, trauma, damage, infection, crowded jaw, periodontal disease, or the risk of infection in a person with a suppressed immune system are all valid reasons for pulling a tooth.
A tooth extraction may be performed by a dentist or oral surgeon. Local anesthetic, to numb the area, is given and sometimes a form of anesthesia is also given so that the patient can sleep comfortably throughout the procedure.
Depending upon whether the tooth has erupted or impacted, the dentist will choose how to proceed. A simple extraction of a tooth that is visible in the mouth is generally loosened and pulled out with forceps. Often, wisdom teeth are impacted and have not broken through the gum line, or a tooth has broken off too close to the gums to be pulled. In these cases, the dentist will have to perform surgery on the gum and bone tissue to remove them. A small incision is made into the gum and in some cases a small amount of bone around the tooth must be removed to extract the tooth. Self-dissolving stitches are used to close the gum in both cases and the patient goes home with instructions for care during the healing process. Often, antibiotics are prescribed for before and after the procedure to minimize the risk of infection. Pain medication is also usually prescribed.
Sometimes, a condition called a dry socket may occur. This generally happens if the blood clot covering the socket dislodges and exposes the bone. This can be quite painful and requires attention from the dentist as soon as possible. The dentist will provide sedative dressings to place over the painful area until a new clot forms.
Full instructions are provided depending on what exactly was done for each individual patient.