Tooth extraction may become necessary due to damage or decay. The procedure involves removing a tooth entirely from its socket. To remove teeth, dentists use an elevator to loosen them and forceps to remove them entirely. In some cases, dentists may create incisions in the gums for better access. Following the removal, professionals clean and…
When Would a Dentist Recommend a Tooth Extraction?
Tooth extraction is typically used as a last resort, when a tooth is too damaged to be repaired. Wisdom teeth are the exception to this practice because they are the only set of teeth that most people do not need. Dentists often recommend extracting wisdom teeth even if they are healthy, and it is typically the first option explored when something goes wrong with a wisdom tooth.
Reasons that a dentist might recommend tooth extraction include:
- To create space on a person’s jaw
- To remove a tooth that is too damaged to be saved
- To prevent a severe tooth infection from spreading to other parts of the body
- To remove the few teeth left on a dental arch so the patient can explore missing teeth solutions like dentures and implant-supported dentures
How dentists perform tooth extraction
There are two main types of extractions used in dentistry: simple and surgical. A simple extraction is performed when enough is left of the tooth to pull it out with forceps. A surgical extraction is performed when the tooth is stuck underneath gum or bone tissues. The dentist will have to make an incision into the patient’s gum tissues to reach the tooth, pull it out, and suture the area. Surgical extractions have a longer recovery period because an incision is made into the gum tissues.
Local anesthetics are administered during extractions, so patients do not feel pain while the dentist works on their mouth. They will experience a bit of pain and discomfort once the anesthetic starts to wear off. Dentists often provide their patients with prescription painkillers to help manage any pain experienced during the recovery period.
Life after tooth extraction
It can take up to two weeks to recover from an extraction. The first week is the most crucial period because the blood clot that forms on the extracted tooth's socket is most vulnerable during this period. The blood clot falling out of its socket leads to a painful condition known as dry socket, which lengthens the recovery period. Simple things that patients can do to help make their recovery smoother include:
- Avoid eating, drinking, or talking for the first few hours after having a tooth extracted
- Stick to liquid and soft foods for the first week after the procedure
- Avoid anything that involves sucking, like drinking through straws, spitting, or smoking
- Avoid brushing and using oral hygiene products for the first two days after an extraction; instead, rinse the mouth with a saltwater solution
- Use any painkillers or antibiotics prescribed as recommended by the dentist
- Avoid strenuous activities for the first two days after having a tooth extracted
- Aim to get as much rest as possible
- Do not touch or irritate the site of the extraction, as that can lead to the blood clot in the socket being dislodged
Extractions protect your health
Do you need to have a tooth extraction? Our dentist has you covered. Give us a call or stop by our Rockville clinic to set up an appointment.
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