Why Are Some Teeth Broken Into Sections for Extraction?

Dentist Blog

There are many ways in which a dentist can save a severely damaged tooth. But sometimes a tooth's structure has deteriorated to the point that it can't be saved, and your dental health will be better served by the removal of the tooth, clearing the way for a prosthetic replacement. The extraction process can be simple enough, but this depends on the tooth. What does it mean when your dentist tells you that you require a surgical extraction?

The Type of Root System

Much of the complexity of extracting a tooth is related to the type of tooth (and its root system). An anterior tooth (incisors and canine teeth) has a single root to anchor it, making for easier extraction. It's not quite the same with posterior teeth (molars and premolars). These teeth often have two root systems, and this additional anchoring reflects the fact that many people use these teeth a lot more for chewing. Posterior teeth need this extra stabilisation to withstand the ongoing bite pressure they're subjected to, but this extra stabilisation can create an obstacle for extraction. 

Avoiding Unnecessary Trauma

Even though there's no alternative but to extract the tooth, the tooth itself may not be in agreement. Even a molar or premolar that is beyond saving can still be securely anchored with its double root system, meaning that simply applying pressure to the tooth and pulling it can be unnecessarily traumatic. Your dentist wants to avoid needless tissue damage, which prolongs your healing time, and it's for this reason that molars and premolars are often sectioned for removal.

Sectioning a Tooth for Extraction

This sectioning is the surgical aspect of the extraction. You will receive a local anaesthetic injected directly into your jaw, so the complexity of the process won't result in any extra discomfort. Using a dental drill, your dentist then literally divides the tooth into two sections, each with its own root system. These sections are then extracted individually, resulting in less tissue damage, less bleeding, and reducing any damage to the underlying bone. 

It might be a little unsettling to learn that your dentist will be breaking a tooth into sections before it can be extracted, but please remember that this is a common process for removing molars and premolars. In terms of preserving the site and readying it for a prosthetic replacement (such as a dental implant), sectioning is definitely in your best interests. To learn more, contact a local dentist.


23 June 2021

Dental Health: Not To Be Taken For Granted

As a retired dentist, I work with charities which visit developing countries and educate children about dental care. It gives me great satisfaction to revisit these communities and see how proud the children are of their efforts. I am acutely aware that good dental hygiene can help prevent a range of serious conditions when these children become older. I started this blog because it greatly distresses me that many people in Australia do not seem to care for their teeth as much as children in these poor communities. This is happening despite ready access to items like toothbrushes and toothpaste which are luxuries in the places I visit. It is my hope that this blog encourages you not to take dental health for granted. My greatest wish is that you can be as inspired as the children I see in my charity work. Please read on and enjoy.