While preserving a permanent tooth is ideal, there are some situations where a tooth must be extract in order to keep a patient as healthy as possible. Reasons for extractions range from extreme trauma to advanced tooth decay or infection.
Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. If you are facing a tooth extraction, it can seem a little daunting and nerve-wracking. However, tooth extractions are a fairly common procedure. You have nothing to fear as extractions are only preformed when they offer a great benefit to the patient.
When Is Tooth Extraction Necessary?
In many cases, you can repair teeth that are broken or damaged by decay with a filling, crown, or other dental treatment. Sometimes, though, the damage is too severe to repair, so your dentist will recommend extraction. Here are some other reasons tooth extraction might be necessary:
Tooth Extraction Process
Removal of a tooth that is visible in your mouth. It’s common for a general dentist to perform simple extractions. During a simple extraction, your dentist will numb the tooth and gum tissue and loosen the tooth with an instrument called an elevator before removing it with dental forceps.
A more complex procedure used for a tooth that may have broken off at the gum line or has not come into the mouth yet. Oral surgeons usually perform surgical extractions; however, general dentists can perform them as well. During a surgical extraction, the doctor will make a small incision (cut) into your gum and remove the underlying tooth.
After the Extraction
The most important thing after a tooth extraction is keeping the area clean to prevent infection. Immediately following the procedure, your dentist might ask you to bite down gently on a piece of dry, sterile gauze. You should keep the gauze in place for 30 to 45 minutes to limit bleeding while clotting takes place. Your dentist will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions, but for 24 hours following your extraction, you should not smoke, rinse your mouth vigorously, or clean the teeth next to the extraction site.
You can expect a certain amount of pain and discomfort following an extraction. In some cases, your dentist will recommend a pain killer or prescribe one for you. It might help to apply an ice pack to your cheek to reduce swelling. You should limit strenuous activity, as well as avoid hot liquids and not drink through a straw. Under normal circumstances, discomfort should lessen within three days to two weeks. However, if you experience prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or fever, call your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars in the back of your mouth. They usually come in between the ages of 17 and 25. Most people have them removed for one of these reasons: