Tooth extractions sound more intimidating than they are. Your highly trained dentist or oral surgeon knows just how to minimize your pain and keep you comfortable while they remove a tooth that is no longer useful to you.
To help ease your worries about this procedure, learning about the two different kinds of tooth extractions and why they’re done can help you overcome any fears.
When Is it Necessary?
Tooth extractions help in a variety of cases where the tooth in question should be removed to improve your oral health. This can happen when:
- You have an extra tooth that’s blocking normal teeth from developing.
- You have a baby tooth that needs to be removed because it didn’t fall out on its own.
- Your tooth is severely decayed or has loosened in its socket due to gum disease.
- You’ve had extreme facial trauma and the tooth is too damaged to stay in place.
- You need teeth removed so that orthodontic work can take place.
You should always feel comfortable talking to your dentist or oral surgeon about their recommendations. If you’re wary of having the tooth extracted, feel free to get a second opinion.
The Simple Extraction
A simple extraction takes place in a general dentist’s office. You won’t need to go under anesthesia — a local anesthetic will do.
Once the numbing effect is in place, the dentist loosens the tooth in its socket using a tool called an elevator. Then they remove the tooth with forceps. All in all, it’s a quick procedure that’s no cause for concern.
The Surgical Extraction
Surgical tooth extractions are usually more in-depth, mainly because this type of procedure is reserved for teeth that are either farther back in the mouth, fractured and broken, or still below the gumline.
To ensure your complete relaxation, a variety of sedation options may be used, including local anesthesia, an IV or general anesthesia.
The Recovery Process
For both types of tooth extractions, the primary objective is to stop the bleeding following the procedure. This is accomplished by biting down on gauze for 20 to 30 minutes after the extraction, but the removal site may still bleed for about a day.
You can use over-the-counter pain medication for discomfort. For surgical extractions, your surgeon may offer prescription-strength medication to help with pain management. Use ice to control swelling.
Eat soft, cold foods in the days afterward, and keep the incision site clean. You can rinse with salt water to minimize the chance of a bacterial infection.
At Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, tooth extractions are handled with the utmost care, and our patients are comfortable through every step of the process.