All About Health And Wellness Gazette

Why do we need a tooth extraction?

Jul 10

Tooth extraction is necessary when the tooth is damaged beyond repair or if it is preventing other teeth from growing properly. In some cases, may be required to make room for dental implants or braces. Your dentist or an oral surgeon can perform tooth extractions.


If you have a tooth extracted, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth with local anesthesia. Once the area is numb, your dentist will loosen the tooth with an elevator instrument and then remove the tooth with forceps. You may feel some pressure during this process, but you should not feel any pain.


After your tooth has been extracted, your dentist will place a toothbrush in your mouth to stop the bleeding. You may also be asked to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes. It is usual for some bleeding and swelling to occur after tooth extraction. Be sure to follow your dentist's instructions on caring for your mouth after the procedure.


These instructions may include:


  • avoiding hard or crunchy foods for a few days
  • rinsing your mouth with warm salt water several times a day
  • applying an ice pack to your face for 20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling
  • taking over-the-counter pain medication as needed


What Should I Expect During a 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. In some instances, 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.


When is tooth extraction recommended?


Healthcare providers prefer to save natural teeth whenever possible. But sometimes, other therapeutic methods such as dental fillings or dental crowns aren't enough. In addition, if your tooth has been badly damaged past the point of repair, then removal may be necessary.


Your dentist may recommend tooth extraction if you have:


  • Severe tooth decay (cavities).
  • A fractured tooth.
  • An impacted tooth.
  • Crowded teeth.
  • Severe gum disease.
  • Tooth luxation or other dental injuries.


How can I prepare for tooth extraction?


Your dentist will review your health history and perform a dental exam before recommending tooth extraction. Be sure to tell your dentist about any medical conditions you have and medications you are taking, as these may affect how the procedure is performed. You should also let your dentist know if you are pregnant. You may be asked to get X-rays of the tooth that is to be extracted. These will help your dentist see the tooth's position and assess whether any complications need to be considered.


If you have other questions, River District Smiles Dentistry is here to help. You can rest assured to save a tooth, or you need a tooth extraction and will do everything we can to ensure that you are comfortable during the procedure. You can always count on us!