Tooth extractions, a sometimes necessary and routine dental procedure
Tooth extractions are routine dental procedures to remove decayed, damaged or otherwise problematic teeth. Dentists make every effort to preserve natural teeth, but sometimes an extraction is necessary. Although the procedure is often performed in a dentist’s office, it is considered surgery. Depending on which teeth are removed, they may be replaced with a dental implant or other oral prosthetic.
There are several reasons why you could need a tooth extraction.
The most common cause of tooth extractions is severe tooth decay. However, many patients undergo extractions for impacted teeth – particularly wisdom teeth. Other causes for extraction include advanced periodontal disease, cracked teeth, and teeth that are severely malformed. Although many of the circumstances that lead to extraction are unavoidable, some could be prevented with regular visits to the dentist for exams and cleanings.
Tooth extraction FAQ
Only a dentist can tell you if you need a tooth extraction. You may be a candidate if one or more of your teeth are decayed so severely that a filling or other restoration is not a possibility for treatment.
If your dentist decides to extract one or more teeth, you will be given a local anesthetic and you may be prescribed medications to help manage pain in the hours following your extraction. Depending on the nature of the extraction and other factors, such as whether your teeth are impacted, you may also be sedated or given general anesthesia during the procedure.
Post-operative care following a tooth extraction is essential for healing and preventing complications. You will need to avoid certain foods and keep the surgical site clean at all times. If you are prescribed an antibiotic, it is important that you complete the course of treatment to prevent infection. Finally, you may be advised to avoid smoking or drinking through a straw, as doing so may delay the healing process and cause a condition known as “dry socket.”