Tooth Removal/Extractions


Teeth are removed by dentists for various reasons. Depending on the condition and circumstances, not all teeth can or should be saved.

I just returned from Guatemala with my Saint George Rotary Club. The club members were installing vented stoves to help prevent respiratory disease among women and children in the high mountain villages. I brought along my dental head light, extraction forceps and anesthetic. While my club built stoves I announced that I could remove infected or abscessed teeth. Most of the children had never seen a dentist. Within minutes a table was draped and it became my operating table. I saw both young and old for hours, having to leave with still many people hoping for care. It was rewarding to be able to help, but an eye-opening experience that made me think about the dental pain and suffering many people live with on a daily basis.

In our community dental services are readily available. However, right here in Saint George, many people, especially children, still fall through the social safety nets and live with dental pain. I’ve advocated in other articles the need to be a little nosy with those around you, especially family members, good friends or your grandchildren, as to their dental needs. Many times a permanent tooth has not come up directly under the baby tooth. When this happens the baby tooth’s root does not absorb and so the tooth does not become loose. This can lead to crooked teeth, or a toothache.

Find out if there is a need that has been missed for perhaps financial reasons. Be the Good Samaritan if you can, and help your grandchildren or your friends, or those around you if you are in a care facility to get relief from that toothache.