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Posts for tag: Tooth Extraction


There are instances when a general dentist will remove (extract) a problem tooth. At other times, though, the same dentist may refer a patient needing an extraction to an oral surgeon. Why the difference?

The procedure performed by a general dentist is referred to as a “simple tooth extraction.” “Simple” doesn’t mean easy and requiring no skill or expertise — it certainly does. In this case, the term refers to the anatomy of the tooth being extracted, particularly its roots.

Teeth that respond well in a simple extraction have an uncomplicated root system. The path of removal, usually with a single root involved, is fairly straight and without extreme angles. In the hands of a skilled and experienced dentist, it can be removed with little to no discomfort.

Dentists actually must use finesse to remove a tooth from its socket. The tooth is held in place with tiny collagen fibers that extend from a tough, elastic gum tissue known as the periodontal ligament, which lies between the teeth and the bone. With some manipulation, a dentist can loosen these fibers, which then makes removing the tooth much easier. All of this can usually be performed with local anesthesia.

Of course, to determine if a tooth can be removed this way, we must conduct a thorough dental examination first, including x-ray imaging to determine the exact nature and location of the roots. If the exam reveals the root system is more complex, or that there are defects to the bone or the tooth that could make a simple extraction difficult (resulting, for example, in not removing the crown and root in one piece), then the tooth may need to be removed surgically.

Such situations require the skill and resources of an oral surgeon. These specialists perform a number of surgical procedures related to the mouth and face; as procedures go, extraction is among the most routine. Using local anesthesia and post-operative pain management, undergoing a surgical extraction involves only minimal discomfort and a very short recovery time.

After examining your tooth we’ll recommend the best course for extraction, whether simple or surgical. In either case, we’ll see that your problem tooth is extracted as efficiently and painlessly as possible.

If you would like more information on tooth extractions, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Simple Tooth Extraction?

November 30, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Tooth RemovalTooth extraction may offer the best solution if a tooth is severely decayed, or your oral health is affected by a problem tooth. Albuquerque, NM, periodontist Dr. Petra Mayer helps you care for your smile with extractions, tooth restoration options, examinations, cleanings, fillings, cosmetic procedures and other dental services.

Pulling a decayed tooth protects your oral health

Tooth decay is usually treated by removing the decayed part of the tooth and replacing it with a filling. Unfortunately, if the decay is extensive, removing the tooth may be the only choice. Extraction also prevents the decay from spreading to other teeth.

Tooth extraction eliminates wisdom tooth pain

Wisdom tooth extraction is necessary if you don't have enough room in your jaw for your third set of molars to erupt fully. Partially or fully impacted wisdom teeth are blocked by tissue or bone. Impacted wisdom teeth can be very painful and may damage nerves and other teeth as they attempt to erupt. If your wisdom teeth erupt normally but are decayed, they may also need to be extracted.

Injuries can lead to tooth extraction

Although your teeth are strong, they can fracture or break if you fall on your mouth or experience a blow to your face. In some cases, your Albuquerque dentist may be able to repair and restore your tooth with a crown or root canal therapy. If the fracture extends into the root, it won't be possible to save the tooth.

Eliminating an infection may involve tooth extraction

An infection in the soft pulp located deep inside your tooth may lead to an extraction. In many cases, the infection can be treated with antibiotics, root canal therapy and a dental crown to strengthen the treated tooth. If the infection remains after treatment, you may need an extraction to safeguard your health. Infections in teeth can spread to other parts of your body if you don't receive prompt treatment and may even affect your heart or brain.

Extraction may be part of your orthodontic treatment

Your dentist may recommend extraction of one or more teeth before you're fitted with braces. Extracting the teeth makes it easier to treat crowding and helps ensure that your orthodontic treatment is successful.

Could you benefit from a tooth extraction? Call Albuquerque, NM, periodontist Dr. Petra Mayer at (505) 881-2400 to schedule your appointment.

By Petra I Mayer DDS
September 20, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   Tooth Extraction  

We treat most malocclusions (bad bites) with braces or clear aligners. But not all malocclusions are alike — some can require extra procedures to achieve successful results.

One such example is when incoming teeth crowd other teeth and cause them to erupt abnormally. The crowding also reduces the space needed to move the misaligned teeth to better positions. To make more room we'll often remove some of the teeth before undertaking orthodontics.

The key is to extract the right teeth. The best candidates are those whose absence will have minimal effect on both appearance and dental function. That's commonly the bicuspids, located right on the edge of the “smile zone” (the teeth most visible when we smile) between the cuspid (eye) teeth and the back molars.

Once we choose and remove the teeth our next concern is to protect the bone at the extraction site. The bone in our jaws benefits from the pressure created when we bite or chew. This stimulates new bone cells to form and replace older cells. Without it, as when we have a missing tooth, the amount of bone can diminish over time and affect the success of any future orthodontics.

To prevent this, we take care not to damage the gums and bone removing the tooth. We may also install a graft under the empty socket to encourage bone growth.

If we've removed teeth outside the smile zone, the resulting orthodontics will move teeth into the opened space. In the end, you won't even notice they're gone. Teeth lost or congenitally missing in the smile zone, though, may eventually require a replacement tooth. A dental implant is the best choice, but it should be put on hold for a younger person until their jaw has fully developed.

In the meantime, we can install a spacer or a temporary restoration to hold the empty space and prevent other teeth from drifting into it. This can be incorporated into braces or aligners, or with a removable partial denture or a temporary modified bridge.

Extracting teeth to aid orthodontics first requires a well-laid plan that could encompass several years. The end result, though, can be well worth the time and effort — better function and a new, attractive smile.

If you would like more information on the process of straightening teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Removal for Orthodontic Reasons.”


The primary goal of dental care is to preserve teeth. But there are circumstances in which removing a tooth, even a relatively healthy one, could prove best in the long run.

A malocclusion (poor bite) related to crowding might fit such a circumstance. Crowding occurs when the size of the jaw is too small for the teeth coming in. With not enough space, some teeth could erupt out of their proper positions. Removing certain teeth frees up space to eventually allow braces or other orthodontic devices to re-align the teeth.

The teeth most frequently removed are the first bicuspids, located between the cuspid (the "eyeteeth" directly under the eyes) and the back teeth, and the second premolar. Removing these won't normally affect appearance or functionality once orthodontic or cosmetic treatments are complete.

Because of the mechanics of jaw development it might be necessary to perform these extractions several years before orthodontic treatment. This could create another potential problem: the time lag could adversely affect bone health.

This is because bone, as living tissue, has a life cycle with cells forming, functioning and then dissolving, and new cells taking their place. When teeth are chewing or in contact with each other they generate force that travels through the tooth roots to the bone and stimulates cell growth at a healthy replacement rate.

But when a tooth is missing, so is this stimulation. This slows the replacement rate and eventually leads to decreased bone volume. Too much bone loss could create obstacles for orthodontic treatment or a future dental implant.

To avoid this, the dentist will often place a bone graft with processed bone mineral within the empty tooth socket right after extraction. The graft serves as a scaffold for bone cells to grow upon. The graft (plus any other added growth boosters) can help maintain a healthy level of bone volume to facilitate future orthodontic or restorative treatments.

Since targeted extraction for orthodontics is time-sensitive, you should have your child's bite evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7 to see if any action is necessary. The earlier a malocclusion is detected, the more likely a more attractive and healthy smile will be the ultimate outcome.

If you would like more information on correcting poor bites, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Tooth Removal for Orthodontic Reasons.”

December 04, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Tooth Extraction  

Sometimes a tooth extraction is the best option. Find out when it’s necessary.tooth extraction

Teeth are pretty resilient, so it can be rather stressful and surprising as an adult to find out that a permanent tooth actually needs to be removed. Of course, there are cases in which a tooth extraction is truly the ideal way to maintain a healthy smile in the long run. From the office of our Albuquerque, NM, periodontist, Dr. Petra Mayer, find out when we might recommend a tooth extraction.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

This is one of the most common reasons our Albuquerque periodontic specialist will recommend getting a tooth extraction. In most cases, this third and final set of molars won’t grow in properly, may cause overcrowding or may not fully erupt through the gums (also known as impacted wisdom teeth). If x-rays determine that the wisdom teeth could end up leading to cavities, gum disease or damage to neighboring teeth, then they will need to come out.

Severely Damaged Tooth

Our goal is to preserve a tooth as often as possible; however, there are moments when decay, an infection or even a crack is so severe and has damaged an extensive portion of a tooth that it is no longer viable. If the tooth’s structure can no longer stand on its own or be supported by a dental crown then it will need to be extracted and replaced. We would be happy to talk to you about your tooth replacement options to replace the extracted tooth.

Prior to Orthodontic Treatment

If you are dealing with severe crowding and are getting braces to fix the issue, then a dentist may actually recommend having one or two teeth removed prior to getting orthodontic treatment in order to provide enough room for teeth to more easily shift into the proper position.

There are other scenarios in which removing teeth may be necessary. If you are undergoing radiation or taking certain cancer medication you may end up dealing with an infected tooth that will need to be removed to prevent the infection from spreading. Children whose baby teeth don’t fall out naturally and prevent permanent teeth from coming will also need to be removed.

Do you have questions about an upcoming tooth extraction? Are you wondering whether you need your wisdom teeth removed? If so, then it’s time you called our periodontal specialist in Albuquerque, NM for a consultation.