Tooth extractions can rid the mouth of diseased, unhealthy teeth or make room for new emerging teeth.
Permanent teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but sometimes extracting teeth is necessary. Teeth that develop infections or severe damage may have to be removed, and sometimes teeth are crowded together and extraction is necessary to make room or to prepare for orthodontic treatment like braces. Emergency situations can sometimes necessitate the removal of a tooth. Whatever the reason for tooth extraction, the procedure is comfortable and recovery time is brief thanks to modern technology.
When you have a tooth extraction, you will first be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. A simple extraction of one or two teeth usually does not require more than local anesthesia. The dentist removes a tooth by rocking it back and forth to widen the socket and then pulling the tooth out. You may feel pressure during the extraction, but you will not feel pain.
“Ugh! The dentist just told me I need to have a tooth extraction. Guess I’m never going back there again.”
Is that how you feel when you get bad news at the dentist? It’s only natural to have some reservations about having a tooth extracted. After all, permanent teeth are meant to last throughout our entire life. But there are factors that can require an extraction.
“Can I just be asleep for the whole thing?” is a question that some nervous patients ask, and the simple answer is yes. In fact, if several teeth are impacted, this may be the recommended way to take care of the procedure. However, most extractions are no big deal, and you shouldn’t feel pain once the local anesthetic has been administered, so you may decide to stay awake.
No one wants to lose a tooth, but if it is for the greater good, you want to have the procedure done before other teeth are affected. Don’t let anxiety keep you from taking the necessary action.
If several teeth need to be extracted or if any teeth are impacted, the extraction will be done under general anesthesia so you will be asleep during the procedure. An impacted tooth is one that is trapped by gum tissue, which will need to be cut away to free the tooth. Sometimes a tooth has to be removed in pieces. Sleeping through the procedures means you will feel nothing and you will not even experience the passage of time while the dentist is extracting your teeth. When you wake up, the procedure will be finished.
Recovery after a tooth extraction usually only takes a day or two. You will be given gauze pads that will help the formation of a blood clot in the socket. You should avoid drinking through a straw, vigorous rinsing and spitting and smoking for a few days to protect the clot and keep it from dislodging. Eat soft foods on the day of the extraction. If you had multiple teeth or impacted teeth extracted, you may need to gradually progress to firmer foods over the course of a few days.
Many tooth extractions for reasons of decay or disease can be avoided with proper oral hygiene and prevention. Saving your natural teeth is best when possible, but when the decision is made to extract teeth, this can help your other teeth to remain healthy.