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Tooth Extractions


Extractions are only performed out of necessity. Our staff at Dentistry with Smiles takes the removal of teeth very seriously. Extractions are used to improve a patient’s bite, to remove impacted teeth, or to remove an extremely decayed tooth that is beyond repair. Dr. Ullsmith understands how important your teeth are to your overall oral health. Working together, we can discuss your options and weigh the best course of action, which for some patients will include the extraction of a single or multiple teeth.

When should I have my tooth extracted?


Extractions are done when it is in the best interest of the patient for their oral health. Dr. Ullsmith will perform an examination, which may include digital x-rays, to review and diagnose your dental health. In most situations, there are three main categories that we may discuss the removal of a tooth. These categories include:

•  To improve a patient's bite:A bad bite can cause havoc on your teeth. This can be due to having an extra tooth, not having the space for all of your teeth, or not having the correct jaw shape for all of your teeth. The order for this type of extraction is often done under the control of an orthodontist. We can remove a tooth, creating space that will be closed in a controlled matter.
•  To remove a tooth that is impacted:An impacted tooth is a tooth that was unable to fully ascend for one reason or another. This is often the case for third molars, known as wisdom teeth. A tooth that is impacted can cause some negative effects, it can twist inside disrupting neighboring roots, and it can come in contact with bacteria leading to the development of a cavity or decay. Removing an impacted tooth is best for your oral health.
•  To remove a tooth that has decayed beyond repair:In most situations, we would hope to catch a decaying tooth before the problem has grown out of hand. This is not always the case. Alternatively, in some situations, the patient does not have the financial means to take the necessary steps to restore a severely decayed tooth. In this situation, it is best to remove the tooth. A decayed tooth is a source of infection that the body can not heal on its own. Infection remaining in your body can cause other damaging effects.


Extraction Procedure


A dental extraction can be performed as either a simple extraction or as a surgical extraction. A simple extraction can quickly turn into a surgical extraction.

A simple extraction means that the tooth is entirely intact and fully extended, it is not impacted. Once the patient is numbed, Dr. Ullsmith can loosen the ligaments that hold the tooth root in the socket using a dental tool called an elevator, or extraction forceps. Wiggling the ligaments from the root, Dr. Ullsmith can lift the tooth from the socket. The process is not known for being easy on the patient but should be fast.

A surgical extraction is done when the tooth is broken, severely decayed, or impacted. Surgical means that the tooth extraction will require some cuts to remove the entire tooth. In many cases, the tooth is removed piece by piece. This process can be uncomfortable but is done because it is best for the patient’s health.

If you have questions about an extraction, our front office staff is here to assist you. Contact us for more information. (360) 312-3187

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1101 N Forest St, Suite 6
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 312-3187
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