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It’s Like Pulling Teeth!

Tooth on String

Tooth on String

Despite the common saying, pulling teeth is a rather quick and easy procedure.  Many years ago, pulling teeth was the only way to cure a toothache, and that was before modern technology and education. However, there are still times when removing a tooth is either the best or the only course of action. We’ll look at some of the reasons a tooth might need to be extracted and what you can expect from the procedure.

As dentists, we try to keep teeth in your mouth as much as possible, but sometimes a tooth must come out because:

  • Decay: Sometimes a tooth is too decayed to save. At this point the decay has spread to the roots of the tooth and there is significant threat of infection around the socket.
  • Trauma: Your tooth has been in an accident and has been severely damaged. This could mean it’s out of its socket and can’t be put back in or the tooth itself is cracked beyond repair.
  • Tooth crowding: Your teeth are bunched too close together and there isn’t enough space for them to fit. Extractions are usually called for when teeth start pushing in front of or behind other teeth and can’t be fixed with braces or Invisalign.
  • Wisdom teeth: We all have them, and most of us don’t want them.  When wisdom teeth start growing, in they tend to push all of your teeth together which is painful and causes damage.  A lot of parents get their children’s wisdom teeth removed in their teens when the teeth start to emerge from behind the back molar.

When your dentist in Greensboro, NC, tells you that a tooth must come out, don’t panic.  There are two extraction methods- neither of them take very long to do and you won’t feel any pain.  The tooth can either be pulled out, called a Simple Extraction, or the roots can be sectioned in two and pulled out individually, called a Surgical Extraction.  Simple extractions are used for easy-to-get-to teeth while Surgical Extractions are used on hard to reach teeth, such as your lower wisdom teeth.  You will be anaesthetized (usually only a local anesthetic is needed) and you will be done in an hour or less.

After your tooth is pulled out, you will go through the normal healing process.  Don’t smoke, keep brushing, keep the wound free of debris, and rinse your mouth a few extra times every day.  We have different ways to fill in the hole left by your missing tooth, so if you want to replace it, just let us know and we can work with you to make it happen.

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