A tooth extraction is sometimes necessary as a part of staying healthy. Keep your mouth healthy by visiting a dentist regularly. This helps prevent serious infections or conditions that affect your whole mouth and body.
In adulthood, there are reasons that they may need to be extracted, although our teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Dentists and oral surgeons recommend tooth extraction for a number of reasons.
Some the most common reasons for tooth extraction are:
Dentists and oral surgeons perform tooth extractions. The severity of the affect tooth determines whether a dentist performs the surgery or if you are referred to an oral surgeon. There are two different types of tooth extractions: a simple extraction and a surgical extraction.
When the affected tooth is visible above your gum line and it can be easily removed with forceps, the procedure is called a simple extraction. If the tooth in question has yet to grow in and bone and gum tissue has to be removed in order to extract it, that’s called a surgical extraction. Surgical extractions require stitches and wound care for proper healing.
Your dentist will determine the type of extraction necessary by taking X-Rays of your mouth and examining the tooth and the structures around it. However, a simple extraction can turn into a surgical extraction if the tooth breaks during the procedure.
Before performing the surgery, your dentist will do a complete review of your medical history. This is to ensure your safety during the procedure. It will also determine the safest type of anesthetic for your procedure. In some cases, your dentist will perform local anesthetic to numb the area before pulling your tooth. Some types of extraction that are more complicated will use a strong general anesthetic. This helps prevent pain and makes your sleep throughout the process.
If a tooth is impacted, meaning they haven’t grown in completely, they will be surgically extracted. Your dentist will make tiny cuts in the gum tissue and bone surrounding your tooth and using forceps, gently the rock the tooth back and forth until it’s loosened from the bone and ligaments that keep it from moving.
Once the affected tooth is extracted, blood clots form in the empty tooth socket. A gauze pad is then pressed into the socket to help stop the bleeding. Oftentimes, the dentist will place a few dissolvable stitches at the extraction site to promote faster healing. If the blood clot breaks loose from the socket, it can be painful and cause dry socket.
It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions for care after having a tooth extracted. This is to help heal you wound quickly and to prevent any complications.
It’s common to experience a minor fever and increase in pain in the hours following your procedure. Your dentist will likely prescribe some kind of pain medication to help alleviate your pain and make the recovery process more comfortable. Over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol or Motrin are good to help minimize the fever. Always check with your doctor before taking any medicine that hasn’t been prescribed to avoid unwanted side effects.
If there is bleeding at the extraction site for longer than 4 hours post-surgery, that is a cause for concern and you should contact your dentist. Signs of infections, redness, swelling, or discharge around the extraction site, are also considered means for contacting you doctor. Those are issues that need to be addressed by a medical professional to minimize your chances for infection.
Healing from a tooth extraction procedure takes approximately 1 to 2 weeks. Depending on the tooth that was pulled, your dentist will recommend replacing the tooth with bridgework, dentures, or even dental implants.