In extreme cases where a tooth cannot be saved, an extraction will be performed.
In cases of severe bone loss around a tooth due to gum disease or when a tooth is unrestorable due to extensive decay or fracture, extraction may be the only option. Dr. Laurie does 99% of her own extractions (she spent a summer as an extern in the Emory oral surgery residency and is very proficient).
Though no one wants to lose a tooth, we strive to make the experience as pleasant as possible. We do everything possible to ensure profound anesthesia during the procedure. If you are a candidate, we can even sedate you (see our Sedation Dentistry section). We will go over your post-op instructions and give you written instructions with extra gauze and emergency contact information. Antibiotics and/or pain medication will be prescribed if Dr. Laurie deems it necessary.
Wisdom teeth are the molars that are farthest back in the mouth. These teeth are the last to grow into the mouth, usually around age 18. Wisdom teeth are often impacted meaning they do not grow in properly. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a myriad of problems including gum disease, infection, decay and even pathologies like cysts and tumors. To prevent potential problems, wisdom teeth are usually extracted at the first sign that they may be impacted. We refer impacted teeth to the oral surgeons. Dr. Laurie does not believe in extracting ALL wisdom teeth. If they are growing straight, the patient is able to keep them clean and they are not contributing to crowding, then she prefers to allow the patient to keep them.