We all want to keep our teeth forever. But sometimes circumstances occur that prompt the removal of a tooth. While it’s easy enough to remove many of your teeth, it occasionally gets complicated, and requires a more complex procedure. There are different types of tooth extraction procedures and ways to prepare for them.
Simple and Surgical Tooth Extractions
A surgical tooth extraction is common. When your tooth is visible above your gum line, it’s easy enough to remove with forceps. This is called a simple extraction.
If a more volatile tooth hasn’t yet come in, the gum tissue or bone must be removed to extract the tooth. This is a surgical extraction and you will need stitches to close the site and allow it to properly heal. You may even need pain medication after the extraction.
Why You Would Need a Tooth Extraction
If you have a broken tooth or one that’s damaged by decay, you may need a crown or filling to fix it. But sometimes there’s just too much damage for a repair to be done. In such cases, you will need a tooth extraction. Very loose teeth should also be removed if they can’t be saved by specialised gum care.
Here are a few other reasons you may need to have a tooth removed:
- You have extra teeth blocking others from growing in
- Your baby teeth haven’t fallen out and your permanent teeth are coming in
- You may be getting braces and you need room for the teeth that are going to be moved into place
- You’re undergoing radiation to your head and neck and some teeth are in the field of radiation
- Having to take cancer drugs and don’t want to risk a tooth infection
- Your tooth is infected after having an organ transplant. People who undergo an organ transplant incur a high risk of infection due to the drugs they take to suppress their immune system.
What’s more, many people’s wisdom teeth are extracted either after or even before they come in. Wisdom teeth most commonly come in during your late teens or 20s. A wisdom tooth extraction is often recommended if they cause pain, have an infection or are decayed.
Wisdom teeth often get stuck in your jaw and fail to properly come through. This leads to gum irritation, swelling and pain and it’s better to remove the tooth.
Finally, if you’re about to have treatment with bisphosphonates – intravenous drugs – you should book an appointment with your orthodontist first. If any of your teeth need to be extracted, it should be done before you begin your treatment. Having a tooth extraction once you’ve started your drugs increases the risk of death of bones in your jaw.
Recovery After a Tooth Extraction
Swelling after a tooth extraction procedure lasts just 48 hours or less. It can take up to about two weeks for your mouth to heal completely.
Many patients ask whether or not tooth decay can go away without the need for a tooth extraction. However, dental pain often has a deeper issue. It’s important for us to figure out the underlying issue and then devise a treatment plan to protect your dental health.
Preparing for the Procedure
Whatever the reason for your tooth extraction, there are a few things you can do to prepare for your procedure.
Here’s everything you need to know and do beforehand.
Before Your Procedure
Tooth extraction is a surgery. During your procedure, you will be put under anaesthetic, so you won’t feel any pain as the tooth is extracted. We’ll discuss all of this with your beforehand to help determine if you’re allergic to any medication, too.
We’ll also discuss whether or not you’ll be okay to drive and carry out normal functions after your surgery. Most patients can and do. That’s because we use a local anaesthetic to extract teeth, so we only numb your jaw and mouth area. That means you’re able to use your arms and legs and there’s no impact on our vision.
Before your tooth extraction surgery, you should also determine your preferred payment process and discuss any other procedures that may be necessary. Find out how much your insurance will cover, if anything, too.
We’ll also discuss implants, fillings and other cosmetic options that are available, so you’re not left with a hole where the tooth was.
Be prepared for a couple of stitches, too. They keep the open area safe from bleeding and infection. The stitches usually dissolve within a couple of days after the surgery.
During the Extraction Surgery
Once you’re prepared for your tooth extraction, it’s time to undergo surgery. Make sure you’ve eaten and brushed your teeth and then get comfortable – you may be in the seat for some time. It’s also a good idea to wear comfortable clothing.
Tooth Extraction Recovery
After your surgery, you’ll need to rest well and eat right. Of course, you won’t be able to jump out of the chair and head off for a burger. Rather, you will need to eat soft foods for a couple of days. You should try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth while the site of the tooth extraction heals, too.
Take note that foods that are extremely cold or hot can put stress on your recovery process, even if it’s regular ice cream or soap. You should also stay away from straws, rather drinking straight from a glass. Air compressions from straws could harm your stitches.
Keep Teeth Healthy After Your Procedure
Once you’ve undergone a tooth extraction surgery, you’re sure to learn the value of healthy teeth and looking after your oral health. After all, teeth can’t just grow back the way a fingernail can.
Once you lose an adult tooth, it’s gone for good, which is why it’s important to be serious about dental care.
If you have a tooth that’s worrying you, it’s time to book a consultation with the team at Geoffrey Wexler Orthodontist to discuss your options.