Removing a tooth from your mouth is usually the last resort when it comes to dental care. Eliminating the natural tooth can lead to bone loss and other complications, so dentists try to avoid extractions whenever possible. There are certain situations where the removal of a tooth is the only way to provide ongoing relief.
Both dentists and oral surgeons can perform extractions, making it difficult to determine which dental professional you should schedule an appointment with. The deciding factor in selecting a provider to perform your extraction often lies in the level of care needed to remove a given tooth.
1. Unique Facial Structure
Your dentist needs to be able to move freely inside your mouth to extract a damaged or diseased tooth. For patients with unique facial structures, a dentist might not be able to successfully remove a tooth without causing significant discomfort.
Some unique facial structure elements that might require you to visit an oral surgeon for the removal of a tooth can include large sinus cavities or limited mobility of the jaw. An oral surgeon can place you under general anesthesia, so you don't feel the effects of the extraction.
2. Dental Anxiety
A fear of dental offices and procedures is not uncommon. Some patients have a debilitating fear of the dentist that can lead to panic and anxiety attacks. Since a tooth extraction is a delicate procedure that requires the use of some scary-looking tools, patients who struggle with dental anxieties are better off having an oral surgeon complete the extraction.
An oral surgeon can fully sedate his or her patients. Being completely sedated prevents you from being aware of what is happening during the extraction, eliminating the potential for an untimely anxiety attack in the middle of the extraction process.
Complications can always occur whenever your dentist is attempting to remove a tooth. These complications are another reason you might need an oral surgeon to perform your tooth extraction.
Your dentist may discover that the tooth needing to be removed has complex roots that are difficult to remove without general anesthesia. A tooth can also crack during the extraction process. Removing a cracked tooth is a delicate procedure that most dentists would rather leave in the hands of an oral surgeon.
Working with an oral surgeon to extract a damaged or diseased tooth may be your best option. Your dentist will be able to use x-rays and other diagnostic tests to determine if an in-office extraction is feasible and refer you to a qualified oral surgeon if your extraction requires more specialized care.