If your tooth has been damaged, your dentist will consider different repair options. Generally, they will do whatever they can do to keep the tooth—even if they have to replace the entire crown. With that said, there are times when a dentist will not be able to save the tooth of a patient. When this is the case, the dentist will consider a tooth extraction.
Why a Tooth Extraction?
A tooth extraction (dental extraction) is the process of a dentist removing the tooth of a patient. Depending on the scenario, a dentist may or may not need to perform oral surgery to do so.
There are a few reasons why tooth extraction may be required. One scenario is in the case of an accident. If a tooth has been cracked or damaged to the point where it can’t be fixed, a dentist will need to remove the tooth. Another reason is decay and infection. If a tooth is beyond saving due to infection, the dentist will pull the tooth.
Finally, there is the removal of wisdom teeth. These teeth emerge later in life and often cause problems with other teeth as they emerge. They are redundant and aren’t required. In fact, they generally do more harm than good. Some dentists will even preemptively remove wisdom teeth. For the removal of wisdom teeth, your dentist will generally perform surgery. This surgery requires anesthesia and will require you to take a day or so off of work or school.
Anesthesia for Dental Extraction
Once your dentist has decided to remove your tooth, they will determine what anesthesia will be best for the procedure. For something as simple as pulling a tooth, local anesthesia will likely be used. Your dentist will simply administer the anesthetic then rock the tooth back and forth using a special tool until the tooth comes out. For wisdom teeth removal, though, your dentist will likely need to use a more advanced anesthetic.
The three most common anesthetics are below:
- Local anesthesia. Local anesthesia involves an injection around the extraction site. This helps with pain, but a patient may still experience pressure.
- General anesthesia. With general anesthesia, a patient is fully unconscious. They won’t remember the procedure at all or experience pain.
- Sedation anesthesia. With sedation anesthesia, the patient isn’t fully asleep, but they also aren’t as aware. They will have very little memory of the procedure and won’t feel pain.
For more advanced anesthesia like general anesthesia, you’ll want to put a plan in place for getting home. You’ll want to ask a friend or family member to help you out. Your dentist will give you plenty of notice as to when the surgery is. You cannot drive home after a procedure that involves general anesthesia! After you “wake up” you will still be out of it. You may not even become fully aware for a while after you’ve “woken up.” Take the day off or take a half-day from work. You won’t be able to work after the procedure. With that said, you should be fine to work the next day.
Dos and Don’ts After Tooth Extraction?
There are a few things you’ll want to do and others you shouldn’t do after your extraction. Below are the dos and don’ts…
- Get plenty of rest!
- Take any medication prescribed
- Visit your dentist for any follow-up appointments
- Take the day off
- Wear comfortable clothing to the appointment
- Have a ride ready to take you home
- Rinse, brush, or floss for 24 hours
- Drink alcohol, carbonated beverages, or caffeinated drinks after the procedure
- Drive home (when more advanced anesthetic is used)
Follow all of your dentist’s recommendations after your procedure. They are intended to keep you safe and ensure the area heals properly. If you are prescribed medication, make sure to take the medication as prescribed. Let your dentist know ahead of time if you have any issues with specific medication. Before you know it, the area will be healed, and you can consider a replacement (if needed).
Avoiding a Dental Extraction
While for wisdom teeth there isn’t a lot you can do to avoid an extraction, for any other teeth you likely can. The only way you can’t avoid an extraction is in the case of an accident, and even then, there are things you can do to protect your teeth. For instance, if you play sports, make sure you wear a mouthguard.
The best way to avoid a dental extraction is to take proper care of your oral health. This means brushing, flossing, and rinsing twice a day, every day. You also need to visit your dentist every six months. During this time, they will perform a professional cleaning and a checkup. During the checkup, they will be able to see if you have any issues like cavities or infection. They can then address the issue before it gets worse.
If your tooth is damaged, don’t wait around for your next appointment. Get it taken care of immediately. Over time, the damage may get worse. There is also the chance of the tooth getting infected. If this happens, it may need to be extracted.
If you do these things, you may be able to prevent an extraction.
Once you’ve had your tooth extracted, you need to replace it. Over time, your jawbone will deteriorate, and your teeth will begin to shift if the tooth is not replaced. You may consider a dental implant or denture. Speak with your dentist about the best replacement option to meet your needs.
Reach Out to Kelly Road Dental
If you have a damaged tooth, reach out to Kelly Road Dental. A dentist will take a look and see what they can do to save the tooth. If it can’t be saved, we will set you up with an appointment for an extraction. If you have wisdom teeth emerging, we can also perform an extraction.
We look forward to helping you with your oral healthcare needs.