While tooth extractions are a relatively rare dental procedure, they are sometimes necessary. Today, we’d like to provide our patients with an overview of when a tooth extraction might be the right choice and what to expect from the process.
Conditions Requiring Tooth Extraction
There are many reasons why your dental professional might suggest tooth extraction. Most commonly, teeth are extracted due to severe decay or significant breakage. Sometimes, a tooth may need to be removed if it is positioned in a way that creates discomfort or complications for other teeth in your mouth, especially before orthodontic treatments can proceed. In rare occasions, if periodontal disease goes unchecked for a long period of time, bone loss beneath the gums may require tooth extraction.
The Tooth Extraction Process
Rest assured that your comfort is a chief priority during the extraction process. Your dentist will numb the area around your tooth before beginning. The numbing agent will prevent pain during the procedure. You can expect to experience some pressure at times.
In order to extract your tooth, your dentist will need to jostle your tooth a bit, creating enough space to facilitate the removal. It is likely that you will feel some pressure during this portion of the procedure. If your dentist finds that your tooth is particularly difficult to remove due to its root structure, the tooth may need to be sectioned first. Again, the anesthetic will prevent you from experiencing any pain.
After having your tooth removed, you will need to perform some basic care to help your mouth heal. Your dental professionals will provide you with all of the resources you will need. First, it is likely that you will need to keep gauze on the area and apply pressure by keeping that side of your mouth firmly closed until your extraction site stops bleeding. Generally, this takes under an hour, but bleeding can reoccur later. If it does, repeat the process.
In the days following your procedure, it is important to take it easy on your mouth. Your dentist will give you specific directions, but in general you should avoid the following for at least a few days, in addition to a period of refraining from toothbrushing:
- Swishing water or mouthwash too strongly when rinsing
- Using straws
- Drinking alcohol
- Exercising vigorously
Once your tooth extraction is complete, your dentist can review your options for proactively addressing potential future problems like shifting teeth or jaw issues.