If your dentist is able to save your tooth, they will do everything in their power to do so. Even if only a small portion of your tooth can be saved, this is generally preferable to removing the tooth entirely. With that said, there are times in which a tooth is too far gone and needs to be pulled. You also may have extra teeth that are causing problems with your normal healthy teeth. If this is the case, an extraction may be the best option to ensure the health of your normal teeth.
Below is more information about what a dental extraction is, why you may need an extraction, aftercare, and how to avoid an extraction to begin with.
What is a Dental Extraction?
A dental extraction is a procedure that involves the removal of a tooth or teeth. This may be due to an emergency, or it may be something more routine like a wisdom teeth extraction. Depending on the particular extraction, it may be as simple as numbing the area and removing the tooth. Sometimes, though, surgery may need to be performed to properly remove the tooth. This is more common with wisdom teeth extraction.
If you need to undergo surgery for your extraction, you’ll be given instructions that should be followed exactly to ensure your safety and the success of the procedure. Because you will likely be put under during surgery or be given some form of anesthesia, you should make arrangements for a ride home from the procedure. Your dentist will give you instructions about fasting before an operation if one is needed. Follow those instructions fully!
Some common forms of anesthesia for a dental extraction include:
· Local anesthesia. Local anesthesia involves injections near the extraction site. You will be given a numbing agent before the local anesthesia is provided. While you may experience pressure, you should not experience pain during the procedure.
· Sedation anesthesia. With sedation anesthesia, you will be given anesthesia through an IV. With this, your consciousness will be suppressed—allowing you to undergo the procedure with little memory of it and no pain.
· General anesthesia. With general anesthesia, you will be fully unconscious. This will leave you with no pain or memory of the procedure. During the time that you are under, your temperature, breathing, fluid, blood pressure, and other metrics will be monitored to ensure your safety. General anesthesia is less common for teeth extraction procedures.
Your dentist will let you know which type of anesthesia they will be using and how to best prepare for it. Make sure you follow your dentist’s instructions fully and ask any questions you may have about the anesthesia and the procedure beforehand. Our dentists at Nova Dental will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the dental extraction process.
Why Would I Need a Dental Extraction?
There are a few different reasons why you may need a tooth extraction. With that said, they fall into one of two categories—damage to normal teeth and the emergence of wisdom teeth.
Your normal teeth may have been damaged by an accident or been decayed, diseased, and/or infected to the point where they are no longer viable. If this is the case, your dentist may decide that the only solution is tooth extraction. For your normal teeth, they will do everything they can to save as much of the tooth as possible. If it’s beyond repair, though, extraction will be the only option.
Wisdom teeth emerge later in life and can damage your healthy, normal teeth. Sometimes they grow at an angle that faces inward and impacts your teeth. Other times, they grow outward or at weird angles that can affect your oral health. Whatever the case, there is a chance that you’ll need your wisdom teeth removed.
Once you’ve undergone an extraction, you can expect some pain, bleeding, swelling, and bruising. You may be given pain medication to help with the pain. Take the medication as prescribed.
Follow the instructions of your dentist for the replacement of the gauze on the extraction site, and with the use of an ice pack to help with the swelling. Generally, the swelling should get better in around two to three days.
After the extraction, you’ll want to take a day off to recover. You can drink plenty of water, but you shouldn’t drink carbonated beverages, alcohol, or caffeinated drinks. Also, don’t smoke.
You will want to skip brushing, flossing, and rinsing for at least 24 hours after the procedure. Once you resume brushing and flossing, be careful around the extraction site.
Your dentist will provide you with more detailed information about recovery and aftercare.
How to Avoid a Dental Extraction
Sometimes extractions can’t be prevented. You can’t stop your wisdom teeth from coming in, and sometimes you can’t avoid accidents that damage your teeth. With that said, you can take steps to prevent oral health issues that lead to the need for an extraction.
Make sure you brush, floss, and rinse out your mouth twice a day, every day. Also, schedule an appointment with Nova Dental for a cleaning and checkup every six months. During this time, your dentist will be able to provide you with more intensive cleaning and check your teeth, gums, and jawbone for any issues. From there, they can diagnose any problems with your oral health and begin addressing them.
The earlier you catch an oral health issue, the better. You may just need a filling for a cavity or a deep cleaning. If you let it progress, though, you may need a root canal procedure or even an extraction. Don’t wait for it to be too late to save your tooth.
If you notice pain and discomfort, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Schedule an immediate appointment if you have a dental emergency (like an accident that cracked or knocked out a tooth).
If you require an extraction, we’ll make sure to make the process as easy and pain-free as possible.