The overriding goal of dental care is to preserve your natural teeth by preventing decay, promptly treating problems, and restoring damaged teeth. In some cases, however, Dr. Lucia Covington at Waccamaw Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, LLC must perform a tooth extraction. While it’s always the last option, extraction is sometimes the best choice for protecting your dental health. If you have questions about tooth extraction, call the office in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina or book an appointment online.

Why do you need a tooth extraction?

A root canal, full-coverage crown, or both might be enough to restore and preserve your natural tooth. If these options don’t keep your tooth healthy and functioning, Dr. Covington may recommend an extraction.

Patients typically need an extraction if a tooth suffers severe decay, is fractured or broken, or is otherwise too damaged to repair. An impacted wisdom tooth must often be removed to stop it from causing an infection or pushing other teeth out of alignment. Severe periodontal disease might also make it necessary to extract a tooth.

In some cases, a baby tooth is extracted to allow a permanent tooth room to grow in properly. Dr. Covington may need to remove a permanent tooth when your jaw is too crowded or to make space for orthodontic treatment.

What happens before an extraction?

Before deciding to extract a tooth, Dr. Covington performs a comprehensive dental exam and takes X-rays to determine if other treatment options are viable. The X-rays are also necessary for planning the procedure because they show the condition of the surrounding bone and the position of the tooth roots.

It’s also essential for Dr. Covington to review your medical and medication history to be sure you’re healthy enough to have an extraction. You’ll also learn about the different types of anesthesia and decide which is best for you.

Your extraction may only require local anesthesia to numb the tooth and the surrounding bone and gums. Additional sedatives, laughing gas, or conscious sedation may be recommended for a complicated extraction.

How is a tooth extracted?

The extraction procedure depends on the type of tooth, its root placement, and whether the tooth is impacted, but surgical extractions may require a small incision to remove a broken or impacted tooth.

After Dr. Covington removes the tooth, she may place bone grafting material into the empty tooth socket to preserve bone volume. Restoring the bone is especially crucial if you plan to replace the tooth with a dental implant.

No matter the reason for your tooth extraction, you can count on the gentle hands and surgical experience of Dr. Covington. If you have questions or need to schedule an exam, call the office or book an appointment online.