Thanks to modern dentistry, tooth extractions are no longer a painful experience. Your dentist will always do everything they can to save your natural teeth, but sometimes an extraction is necessary to maintain the wellness of your mouth. With sedation options, local anesthesia, and a gentle hand, a tooth extraction can be a simple procedure that gets you back to exceptional oral health.
The most common reason for extractions is tooth decay.
Your dentist will begin by cleaning and disinfecting the treatment site to prepare for the extraction procedure.
To ensure you feel no pain or discomfort during the procedure, your dentist will use local anesthesia on and around the extraction site.
Your dentist may recommend sedation for your tooth extraction. If you are an anxious patient, feel free to request your dentist for options. Sedation can help you relax and feel comfortable during longer extraction procedures.
Using special dental tools, your dentist will slowly and gently begin to loosen the tooth in the socket. Your dentist will then ensure the tooth has been sufficiently loosened before pulling it out with a pair of dental forceps.
After the tooth has been removed, your dentist will clean and disinfect the area. Sutures will be placed on the extraction site to ensure proper healing.
Once the procedure is complete, you’ll be sent home to recover. Your dentist will provide you with a comprehensive set of instructions to help your mouth heal as quickly as possible.
While your dentist will always try to save your tooth first, an extraction may be necessary for teeth that have been severely damaged by injuries, gum disease, or decay.
For example, a tooth may not be possible to save with a root canal if it is deeply infected. Your dentist may recommend an extraction instead. A dental implant, dental bridge, or partial denture can be used to replace your missing tooth and restore the natural function of your smile.
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that tend to grow in much later than the rest of our teeth, usually between the ages of 17-25.
Because of their delayed eruption, many people lack enough space in their mouths for wisdom teeth. This can cause shifting, misalignment, infection, and discomfort with your other teeth when the wisdom teeth begin to erupt. Due to these complications, most people choose to have their wisdom teeth extracted when they begin to emerge.
An impacted wisdom tooth is one that has not fully erupted from the gums. This is one of the most common complications related to wisdom tooth growth.
If a wisdom tooth is impacted, it can compromise the position and health of the surrounding teeth, especially if they are growing at a crooked angle. Food debris and bacteria can get caught on these partially erupted teeth, leading to a higher risk of a tooth abscess or infection. The dentist may recommend surgically removing impacted wisdom teeth to prevent crowding, infection, and other complications.
Overall, the extraction healing process takes about 1-2 weeks.
Tooth extractions may be necessary for patients suffering from an extremely severe cavity, severe damage from oral trauma, or an infected tooth that cannot be saved with root canal therapy. In most cases, it is possible to save your tooth with a crown or root canal therapy, but sometimes an extraction may be your only option.
Improper wisdom teeth growth is the most common reason for tooth extractions. If your dentist sees that your wisdom teeth are impacted or failing to erupt properly, an extraction may be recommended to ensure that your other teeth remain healthy. Not everyone needs their wisdom teeth to be removed, however. Consult with your dentist to find out if your wisdom teeth are or will be a problem.
A tooth extraction may be required if severe periodontal disease is compromising the health of the tooth, causing it to loosen from the gums. Your dentist may want to extract these teeth to prepare you for a strong and long-lasting tooth replacement option, such as dental implants or dentures.
Thanks to numbing and sedation treatments, you won’t feel any pain or discomfort during or immediately after your extraction procedure. However, symptoms such as pain, discomfort, swelling, bruising, and bleeding may begin to arise within a few hours following your extraction. While these symptoms tend to peak within the first 2-3 days, they will begin to fade as you continue to heal. Make sure to eat a diet of mostly soft foods for about 5-7 days after your treatment to prevent impact and agitation.
It will take about 1-2 weeks to completely heal from the extraction. By carefully following the recovery instructions provided to you by your dentist, you can enhance the healing progress. It is not normal to endure severe pain and discomfort 1-2 weeks after your extraction, so contact your dentist for a follow-up appointment if you are experiencing these symptoms.
Extractions that are required to remove impacted wisdom teeth, or damaged or decayed teeth, are typically covered by insurance. To fully understand your coverage and benefits, we recommend that you contact your insurance provider.
Your dentist will always try to save your tooth first before considering an extraction.