Getting a tooth extracted is one of the most dreaded aspects of visiting the dentist.
Yet, there are times when it cannot be avoided for different reasons. You shouldn’t be unnecessarily worried about getting a tooth extracted if it is being done at a reputable and high-quality dental clinic like Dental Wellness.
Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about tooth extractions, what the procedure involves and how to set up an appointment to get one.
When do you need a tooth extraction?
Decay and canal infection: When a tooth gets infected and the canal containing connecting tissues and blood vessels begins to decay, a Root Canal treatment is often used to stop the decay and fill the tooth. If the infection is beyond what can be handled by a root canal treatment and antibiotics, the safest option becomes extracting the tooth to prevent further damage to the gum and surrounding tooth.
Teeth Realignment: Oversized teeth can be a problem when dentists are trying to realign the teeth to improve arrangement and appearance. It’s necessary, in some cases, to just extract a particular tooth with an awkward shape to allow enough space for realignment.
Preventive treatment: For patients who are vulnerable to infection (perhaps due to a weak immune system or a recent procedure), the dentist may decide to preemptively remove a weak tooth to prevent it from getting infected.
Teeth with stunted growth: Teeth are sometimes unable to erupt and grow outside the gum. These “half-teeth” may lead to irritation and pain and the dentist can decide to have it extracted.
The Tooth Extraction Process
The procedure starts with an assessment visit to the dentist where you get to explain your symptoms. An X-ray scan of the affected area may be taken to ascertain how best to carry out the extraction. You will also be required to discuss any pre-existing conditions or treatments to allow the dentist to factor them in when deciding on drugs or other treatment forms to prescribe. After procedure confirmation an appointment will be scheduled for the surgery.
During the Surgery
Usually, local anesthesia is applied to numb the mouth and gum to prevent you from feeling any plain. For a more complicated procedure that may involve cutting through the gum or jaw bone to reach the tooth root, general anesthesia might be used to put you to sleep. If the crown is visible, forceps would be used to grasp and gently shake the tooth loose of its attachment to the gum and jawbones. For teeth without crown that cannot be grasped with forceps, an incision could be made through the gum to reach and extract the tooth. In situations where the tooth is really difficult to extract, the dentist extracts it in bits and pieces until it’s completely removed.
After the tooth has been successfully extracted, any incisions on the gum will be sutured back up.
It is normal for some bleeding to occur after the procedure is completed, the dentist staunches the flow by placing gauze on the bleeding site which you can bite down on.
After the anesthesia wears off, there may be some soreness or slight pain from the extraction and stitching. The dentist may prescribe painkillers to keep the discomfort to a minimum. Be sure to use medication as prescribed. If there is any swelling from the surgery, an icepack will help the swelling go down.
In the days after the surgery, you should brush and maintain oral hygiene, but be sure to avoid the area where the tooth was pulled to avoid reopening of the stitches. Stick to soft foods, pulpy foods or fluids and avoid anything that involves rigorous chewing until the surgery site is properly healed.
Finally, any persistent bleeding or pain should be reported to the dentist.
Considering a tooth extraction procedure?
You should contact a dentist for proper diagnosis to confirm if a tooth extraction is what you really need.