Whether your tooth is severely damaged, infected, or causing overcrowding, your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction. This common (and very safe) procedure can be performed by a dentist or an oral surgeon and involves using a general or local anesthetic during the removal of a problematic tooth—most often your wisdom teeth.
Why Tooth Extractions?
A dentist may recommend a tooth extraction for several possible reasons. Here are just a few of the circumstances that could pertain to you:
- Preparing your mouth for orthodontic treatment
- Correcting an overcrowded bite
- Removing teeth that are severely decayed, infected, or damaged
- Preparing a patient for radiation therapy in the area
- Extracting wisdom teeth that could become impacted or cause overcrowding
Your dentist will thoroughly explain the benefits of tooth extraction in your particular case and will provide you with post-operation instructions to ensure a quick and successful healing process.
The type of extraction required will vary depending on your individual condition. There are two kinds of tooth extraction methods that you might encounter.
If your dentist recommends removing either baby teeth or permanent teeth that have fully erupted through the gums, they will likely perform a simple extraction. In most cases, a dentist will conduct a simple extraction in their office, using a local anesthetic to numb the site. First, your dentist will take x-rays to examine the site and determine which tooth needs to be extracted. Then, they will administer the local anesthetic to ensure you don’t feel a thing during the procedure. Using forceps, the dentist will then quickly remove the tooth. You can expect the recovery process after a simple extraction to last a few days. Be sure to follow the aftercare instructions regarding meals, pain management, and infection prevention at this time.
In more complex cases—such as removing impacted wisdom teeth—an oral surgeon will perform a surgical extraction. In these instances, your surgical team will likely administer a general anesthetic, which will allow you to be completely unconscious throughout the procedure. If not, your oral surgeon will discuss the use of a local anesthetic with you. After the anesthetic has been administered, your oral surgeon will begin the procedure by making an incision into the gum line. Then, they will remove the tooth in one or multiple pieces. When the procedure is complete, you will be asked to have a friend or relative drive you home from the office, as you will not be able to drive home after the procedure while the anesthetic wears off. Your dentist may prescribe a pain medication to manage your symptoms during the healing process. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions closely to facilitate the healing process and avoid possible infection.
Our team will work closely with you throughout the process to ensure your tooth extraction is an easy, stress-free experience.
To ask us any questions or schedule your appointment, call us at St John Smiles today!