Despite the common saying, pulling teeth is a rather quick and easy procedure. Many years ago, before advancements in modern dental technology and education, pulling teeth was the only way to cure a toothache. 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 just simply has to come out! Some reasons your dentist might recommend extracting the tooth include:
- 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 a significant threat of infection in and around the socket.
- Trauma: Your tooth has been severely damaged due to injury or accident. 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 all fit comfortably. 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 molars.
How Are Teeth Removed?
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 perform and you won’t feel any pain. The tooth can either be pulled out, this is 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’ll be done in an hour or less. Your dentist will take every precaution necessary to minimize any discomfort in the mouth during such a procedure.
Tooth extractions don’t have to be painful or scary. Working with an experienced team of dental professionals will give you the peace of mind you need before having a tooth removed. If you have questions or concerns about pain medication or after-care, simply talk with your dentist before the procedure.
What Happens After I’ve Had An Extraction?
After your tooth is pulled out, you will go through a normal healing process. Don’t smoke, keep brushing, keep the wound free of debris, and rinse your mouth a few extra times every day. Be sure to follow the dentist’s directions for after-care so you don’t develop dry socket after tooth extraction. We’ll give you tips on how to minimize swelling in the mouth, reduce tooth pain caused by sensitivity or inflammation, and prevent unlikely dental emergencies post-procedure.
What Can I Do To Prevent Future Decay Or Disease?
Maintain your oral hygiene to prevent disease and preserve health following any tooth extraction. Should you develop an infection following your tooth removal, your dentist can prescribe antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection effectively. An antibiotic may also relieve pain associated with the infection, if you develop one. Rinsing thoroughly after meals and following your after-care regiment drastically reduces your chances of developing an oral infection post-procedure.
Remember, one of the best ways to avoid needing a tooth extraction is through proper preventative care. Be sure to brush your teeth and floss at least twice a day. Many dentists recommend brushing and flossing after eating or drinking throughout the day.
The cost of extraction largely depends on your insurance provider and the intensity of the procedure. You can speak with your insurance provider and dental health professionals to prepare ahead of time and organize copayments.
Talk To Your Dentist
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. Friendly Dentistry is here to answer any questions you may have about tooth decay and how to promote healthy teeth and gums. Make an appointment to see your dental professional for regular cleanings or if you think you need a tooth extracted.