We make every attempt to save your teeth. However, the best choice left to maintain good dental health occasionally involves tooth extraction when the danger of bacteria spreading and harming other teeth becomes severe.
Tooth extraction may be necessary for several reasons, including:
- To create space for the permanent teeth to develop, significantly when the baby teeth do not fall out
- Too much decay or infection has occurred for the tooth that restoring or saving it is impossible.
- To provide room for adjustments, especially for those undergoing orthodontic treatment
- The risk of infection or bacteria spreading becomes high.
- To remove extra teeth that may be blocking other teeth
- An impacted wisdom tooth is present.
There are two kinds of dental extractions: simple and surgical.
General dentists commonly perform a simple extraction on a fully erupted or noticeably visible tooth in the mouth. The dentist uses an elevator to loosen the tooth and forceps to remove it.
On the one hand, oral surgeons frequently perform surgical extractions, which involve making a small incision into the gums to remove a tooth that has broken off at the gum line or has not come out. On the other hand, general dentists can also perform a surgical extraction.
How Is The Tooth Extracted?
Tooth extraction begins with a dental X-ray of the area to properly view the tooth's location and circumstances surrounding it and plan the most suitable way to extract it.
It is advisable to tell your dentist or oral surgeon about your medical history, current medications, and dental and medical history before having an extraction. Your dentist will be able to develop a treatment plan that fits your needs and condition without endangering your health with full disclosure of your medical history.
After the X-ray, you will get an anesthetic to help you feel calm, relieve the pain of the following procedure, and make you sleepy or unconscious. The inner cheek or gums are the sites of local anesthetic injections. Lidocaine is the most popular local anesthetic.
Following the removal of your tooth, your dentist will ask you to bite on a piece of gauze and will offer you some dos and don'ts.
What Happens After My Tooth Is Removed?
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, might ease any discomfort you may experience. For additional information, consult with your dentist. Additionally, applying ice to the affected area for 20 minutes will help reduce swelling.
Swelling and bleeding can last a day or two following the tooth extraction. Initial healing will then take two weeks, at the very least. Wash your mouth with warm salt water to clean the area 24 hours after the surgery. The saltwater rinse will consist of a half teaspoon of salt and a cup of warm water.
Watch out for problems like a dry socket affecting three to four percent of extractions. A dry socket arises when a blood clot does not form in the extracted tooth area or when it breaks down earlier than expected.
When a dry socket occurs, the bone beneath becomes exposed to air and food, causing pain and a foul odor and taste.
Aside from a dry socket, you must also look for other problems such as accidental damage to surrounding teeth, an incomplete extraction wherein a tooth root remains in the jaw, a fractured jaw, and soreness, among others.
Consult your dentist if you have severe swelling, fever, chills, difficulty swallowing, uncontrolled bleeding, or excessive pain.
What Should I Do After a Tooth Extraction?
- You can apply an ice pack to the area where you had your procedure to control the swelling. Do this for ten minutes at a time.
- Minimize your activities for a day or two, especially in the first 24 hours following the extraction.
- You have to adjust to your diet. Eat soft and cool food for several days, then slowly return to your usual diet.
- Smoking is prohibited before, on the day, and at least 24 hours after the tooth extraction.
- Do not drink from a straw.
- Continue your basic oral hygiene routine, adding caution to the tooth extraction area.
Tooth Extractions For Children
It may seem uncommon, but a primary (baby) tooth extraction happens. If crowding is more apt to occur while the primary teeth replace the secondary teeth, then some primary teeth may need extraction. These planned extractions must create enough space for the secondary teeth to emerge and occupy the proper place.
The extractions may inhibit the later need for more intricate orthodontic treatment. For example, it could be necessary to remove the main tooth if it has impacted the jaw or damaged a tooth that is not visible.
On the other hand, if an injury causes the death of the tooth's blood vessels and nerves, it may be necessary to pull out the tooth. However, extraction is essential if the pulp shows signs of infection and causes an abscess to form.
Furthermore, the developing secondary tooth underneath may emerge with discoloration or malformation. Priority goes to the circumstance of the secondary tooth in many cases. Pain and bleeding are the primary indications of injury.
The tooth's crown may be severed entirely, chipped, or cracked. The severity of the tooth damage will influence the pain.
If an abscess forms, this might be dangerous. Chewing and biting then can cause discomfort or pain. On the other hand, a loose tooth caused by injury and incapable of being stabilized may require extraction.
Observing over a few weeks will be necessary to decide if the tooth will survive. More than that, splinting of the tooth by the dentist significantly speeds up the re-rooting process.
The blood vessels and nerves in the tooth may die due to brown to black discoloration. Like how skin coloring happens, this results from blood cell destruction.
When decay is widespread throughout the tooth and untreatable with a crown or filling, extraction is necessary. It's important to know that extraction of a primary tooth may be inevitable when the decay has led to infection at the root's end. This sort of disease may cause discomfort and could significantly impact the development of the secondary tooth underneath.
Extracting primary teeth, particularly the back teeth enables adjacent teeth to move into space. Additionally, the contraction of this area may affect the eruption of the secondary teeth that will take their place naturally.
Meanwhile, the adjacent teeth' movement into space may crowd the secondary teeth. As a result, orthodontic treatment can be necessary. In addition, the dentist may recommend a space-maintainer to ward off teeth moving.
How To Reduce Fear And Anxiety
Before the process, be aware of its causes and methods.
- You must know your expectations to set your child's expectations. Children's tooth extractions are a particular case because some still involve an infant's teeth. These kinds of removals, then, usually take on other considerations. For instance, is the tooth visible or impacted? Are there other options available? Is it too late to wait for the permanent teeth to come out? Knowing the reason for the tooth extraction can guide parents in adjusting their children's expectations.
- The methods of operation often succeed for these causes. However, you might want to know how many teeth will be extracted, for example, if a tooth abscess is the cause of the extraction. You should also think about your anesthetic alternatives if the tooth is impacted.
- Knowing this allows parents to plan effectively to prepare their kids for the treatment. Particularly for children with severe dental injury, parents of highly fussy kids may have the choice of general anesthesia. But no matter your choice, it's always preferable to seek your child's opinion. Taking this into account can make things move smoothly on the day itself.
- Allow them to relax as much as possible throughout the operation.
- Even after discussing what will happen with your children, things could still get messy on an actual day. Fortunately, this doesn't always happen to be the case.
- While you can't always prevent the nerves, you can avoid any breakdowns in the dental chair by making them as comfortable as possible. For instance, you may allow them to bring their favorite toys or wear comfortable clothing. The more they surround themselves with comfort items, the less stressful the situation will seem. Finding the ideal dentist who can make the treatment less stressful is, of course, beneficial as well. Due to their specific training in caring for children, pediatric dentists are typically your best option.
- After the procedure, help facilitate the healing process.
- What happens after the procedure matters as much as before and during. The wrap-up cements your little one's impression of the dentist for life. You'll want to ensure the healing process goes as smoothly as possible. You might want to discourage them from eating for a bit after the procedure since their mouths can still be numb. Your child might accidentally chew the inner tissues and cause serious injuries. You might also want to ensure that they do not rigorously spit, brush, or drink through a straw, as it could remove the blood clot at the site and cause a dry socket.