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Tooth Extraction Questions and Answers

January 17, 2022 by christopher pupillo

Modern dental techniques and technologies commonly help people rescue and retain damaged or diseased teeth. However, sooner or later you may need to schedule the extraction of at least one permanent tooth. While you might find the prospect understandably distressing, a skilled dentist can help you get through it without problems.

You’ll feel better about an upcoming tooth extraction once you understand more about why and how this procedure occurs, what to expect from it, and how to recuperate from it as easily as possible. Read the following questions and answers on the subject to help you prepare.

When Should You Consider Tooth Extraction Versus Other Treatments?

Dentists can usually save a diseased tooth by filling cavities or performing root canal therapy to clean out an infection. They can also repair and strengthen a damaged, weakened tooth by topping it with a crown. You may wonder why you would ever consider extracting a problematic tooth instead of trying to rescue it.

Sometimes a tooth has grown so diseased that its continued presence poses an imminent threat, not only to neighboring tooth and gum tissue but also to your jawbone and/or systemic health. In cases this urgent, extraction often makes good medical sense. A tooth that crowds or presses against other teeth may also require extraction.

Not all cracked or broken teeth respond to the fitting of a permanent crown. For instance, if your tooth has sustained a vertical split or crack that extends below the gum line, a crown can’t repair damage at that depth. The remaining fracture may cause you pain or place you at risk for disease, making extraction necessary.

How Do Dentists Keep Patients Comfortable for Tooth Extractions?

If the thought of undergoing a tooth extraction makes you anxious or afraid, don’t fret. Dentists know how to keep their patients comfortable throughout all kinds of dental procedures, including extractions. Depending on your needs and the extraction in question, you may receive both anesthesia and sedation.

Dentists typically administer a local anesthetic to the part of the mouth undergoing extraction. This anesthetic should keep your jaw totally numb throughout the procedure. The dentist can always administer another dose if you feel that you need it. You would only receive general anesthesia for more large-scale oral or facial surgery.

Sedation can come in a variety of forms, from inhaled nitrous oxide that wears off fairly quickly to oral or intravenous drugs that last for hours. If you plan to receive a relatively strong form of sedation, arrange in advance for transportation home from your dental appointment.

What Happens During the Tooth Extraction Procedure?

In an uncomplicated dental extraction, the dentist may simply rock the tooth back and forth in its socket with the aid of a tool called an elevator. As the tooth rocks back and forth, it widens the bony socket that holds it in place. The dentist can then use forceps to pull the tooth straight out.

Impacted teeth or molars with multiple roots can prove harder to remove without surgical intervention. Your dentist can remove these more problematic teeth by cutting into the gums and bone to help loosen them. The dentist will then use self-dissolving stitches to close the incision. Sometimes, breaking a tooth into multiple pieces can make it easier to remove instead of cutting into the gums.

How Can You Ensure Proper Healing From an Extraction?

Your dental office will make sure you start your recuperation on the right foot by packing your tooth socket with gauze and prescribing antibiotics and painkillers to help you through the acute phase of healing. You’ll bite down on the gauze to slow the bleeding, replacing it as needed until your socket forms a clot.

If you dislodge the clot from its position, you may end up with a painful complication called a dry socket. To prevent this situation from occurring, avoid drinking with straws, smoking, and eating hard or chewy foods. Cleanse your mouth with salt water until your dentist says you can resume a gentle brushing routine.

Accent Dental can extract that troublesome tooth and provide dental restoration options. Contact our office to schedule an appointment today.