A tooth extraction may be needed for a variety of reasons, including, severe tooth decay, advanced gum disease, traumatic injury, or elective i.e. wisdom teeth. If a tooth extraction is needed, it is best to have the procedure completed as soon as possible to prevent the spread of infection and onset of more serious problems to your oral or overall health.
Wisdom teeth extraction
The removal of wisdom teeth is a common type of tooth extraction procedure that is completed in order to correct or prevent gum infection, or damage to surrounding teeth. Other serious problems, such as damage to bone tissue from the growth of a cyst may also occur if your jaw is not large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth.
Most problems with the formation of wisdom teeth arise between the ages of 15 and 25. Ideally, if wisdom teeth need to be removed, the procedure should be done in this time period when the roots of the wisdom teeth are not yet fully developed and the jawbone is less dense, making the tooth extraction easier.
The tooth extraction process
Before the tooth extraction process begins, your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the site of extraction and put you at ease during your procedure. If more than a few of your teeth are in need of extraction, general anesthesia may be used, putting you into an unconscious or near-unconscious state during your surgery.
To remove the tooth, your dentist will open up the gum tissue surrounding the tooth to expose and remove the tooth from crown to root. If there is still connective tissue attaching the tooth to the bone, your dentist will first separate the tissue before extracting the tooth. In some cases, the tooth may need to be cut into several pieces prior to extraction.
Once the tooth is removed and gums stitched, it is important to apply pressure to the wound using gauze to stem the bleeding and allow a blood clot to form. Recovery from a tooth extraction is fairly minimal, requiring just a few days of recovery time before you can eat, speak and care for your teeth normally again. For the first 24 hours after your tooth extraction, over the counter or prescription painkillers may be used to reduce any pain following the surgery. In some cases the doctor may prescribe a stronger medication. Application of a cold compress or ice pack outside of your mouth or jaw will also help with any pain or swelling experienced after your surgery. Smoking, sucking through straws, physical activity and aggravation of the tooth extraction site are to be avoided to prevent further damage, dry socket, further bleeding, or infection to the sensitive area.
For more detailed information the dentist will provide you with oral and written post operative instructions.
While there are slight risks involved with any surgical procedure, tooth extractions are a safe and effective way to prevent or reverse damage caused to a tooth as a result of gum disease, tooth decay or overcrowding. If you are in need of a tooth extraction, contact our offices today to schedule a visit.
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