Natural teeth are ideal for biting, chewing and, maintaining mouth and jawbone structure, which is why a dentist’s first priority is to help restore, save, and repair your natural teeth. However, sometimes a tooth extraction is unavoidable. In this post, we take a look at what a tooth extraction is and what you should expect.
What is a tooth extraction?
If a tooth has been broken or damaged by decay, your dentist will try to fix it with a filling, crown, or other dental treatment. But, when there’s too much damage for the tooth to be repaired, the tooth may need to be removed from its socket in the bone. This removal is a tooth extraction procedure. It is usually done if a tooth is too damaged to be fixed by other treatments.
What are reasons for pulling teeth?
Although permanent teeth are meant to last a lifetime, there are a number of reasons why tooth extraction may be needed. A very common reason is that a tooth that has become too badly damaged, from trauma or decay, to be repaired and saved. Other reasons include:
What should I expect with tooth extraction?
Dentists and oral surgeons (dentists with special training to perform surgery) perform tooth extractions. Before pulling the tooth, your dentist will give you an injection of a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. If you are having more than one tooth pulled or if a tooth is impacted, your dentist may use a strong general anesthetic. This will prevent pain throughout your body and make you sleep through the procedure.
If the tooth is impacted, the dentist will cut away gum and bone tissue that cover the tooth and then, using forceps, grasp the tooth and gently rock it back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone and ligaments that hold it in place. Sometimes, a hard-to-pull tooth must be removed in pieces.
Once the tooth has been pulled, a blood clot usually forms in the socket. The dentist will pack a gauze pad into the socket and have you bite down on it to help stop the bleeding. Sometimes the dentist will place a few stitches — usually self-dissolving — to close the gum edges over the extraction site.
Sometimes, the blood clot in the socket breaks loose, exposing the bone in the socket. This is a painful condition called dry socket. If this happens, your dentist will likely place a sedative dressing over the socket for a few days to protect it as a new clot forms.
What do I do after my tooth has been pulled?
Following an extraction, your dentist will send you home to recover. Recovery typically takes a few days. The following can help minimize discomfort, reduce the risk of infection, and speed up recovery:
Do you have any questions about tooth extraction? Call Westermeier Martin Dental care to schedule an appointment with your dentist 716-508-4547.