The profession of dentists dictates that they try to preserve every tooth without suggesting or recommending extraction until it is necessary for the patient. Perhaps the only time when dentists recommend extraction is in the case of wisdom teeth removal which erupts in early adulthood and can cause problems to the individual.
Whenever dentists observe broken or damaged teeth because of decay they will attempt to fix it with a filling, crown, or other methods. However, when there is extensive damage to the tooth to be repaired successfully an extraction will be suggested to remove the tooth from its socket in the bone. Besides decay and damage to the teeth here are some common situations where tooth removal becomes necessary:
- Many people have extra teeth that prevent other teeth from erupting.
- Baby teeth do not fall out in time to allow permanent teeth to erupt.
- People looking for orthodontic treatments in the form of braces may need to have some teeth extracted to create sufficient space for the teeth that are being moved into the place.
- Cancer patients receiving radiation to the head and neck may need to have the teeth in the field of radiation extracted.
- People receiving cancer drugs may develop infections in the teeth because of a weakening of their immune system causing the dentist to recommend the extraction of the teeth.
- Wisdom teeth known as the third molars are regularly extracted before or after they erupt. They generally erupt in the late teens or early 20s and need to be extracted if they are decayed, infected, impacted or if there is insufficient space in the mouth.
Types of Extractions
Two types of extractions are performed by dentists. They are the following:
A simple extraction is conducted on a tooth that is noticeable in the mouth. Simple extractions are performed by general dentists where the dentist loosens the tooth with an elevator which is an instrument designed for this purpose. The loosened tooth will be removed from the mouth by forceps by the dentist.
A surgical procedure is more complex and is performed when the tooth may have broken off at the gum line or has failed to erupt in the mouth. This type of procedure is generally performed by oral maxillofacial surgeons although general dentists can also perform them. The doctor makes a tiny incision in the gums to surgically remove the broken or impacted tooth. He or she may also remove some of the bone around the tooth or split the tooth in half before removing it.
Simple extractions are performed by administering local anesthetic but you may or may not receive any drugs to help you to relax. You will receive a local anesthetic as well as intravenous anesthesia in a surgical procedure. Some patients with specific medical or behavioral issues and young children may be administered general anesthesia.
You may be given steroids along with other medications in your intravenous sedation line if you are receiving conscious sedation. The steroids are helpful in reducing pain and swelling after the extraction.
You can expect to feel some pressure during the extraction without any pain or pinching sensation. However, if you do feel any discomfort you must bring it to the notice of the dentist immediately.
Planning for Tooth Extraction
If you are planning a tooth extraction in Scottsdale or any other place you must understand that you are undergoing a surgical procedure and expect mild discomfort even after a simple extraction. You will be recommended to take over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and others by the dentist to significantly decrease the pain after the extraction. The dosage recommended by the dentist must be taken 3 to 4 times a day starting from just before the anesthesia wears off. The medications must be continued for another 3 to 4 days or as recommended by the dentist.
Surgical extractions can cause more pain than a simple extraction, especially after the procedure. The level of discomfort and the duration will depend on the complexity of the removal. While the dentist would have prescribed pain-relieving medications for a few days the pain can be expected to subside after a couple of days.
You can also use home remedies to minimize your discomfort and the speed of recovery in consultation with your dentist.
If your dentist recommends a tooth extraction you must understand that it is being done as a last resort only after determining that extracting the tooth is better than saving it.