Tooth Extraction 101: Everything You Need to Know
Our teeth are strong and meant to last for a lifetime or at least into your senior years. However, because of various factors, your local dentist may recommend a tooth extraction. It is worth noting that although tooth extraction is a routine procedure, we only recommend it when the teeth are severely damaged and cannot be salvaged.
When is Tooth Extraction Necessary?
Tooth extraction is the removal of your teeth to get rid of a damaged tooth, stop an infection and make room for other treatments like orthodontia. Our dentist in Owego, NY, can recommend teeth extraction in the following situation:
- Severely damaged teeth due to decay. Before the dentist opts for extraction, he will first use dental fillings or do root canal treatment. Tooth extraction is done when the teeth are too damaged and the infection is spreading to the other tissues. The removal of these teeth is done to preserve the other teeth and dental integrity.
- Impacted wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth. These teeth have a high chance of getting impacted because there is no space in the jaw to hold the teeth. When the wisdom teeth become impacted, you will experience pain and discomfort and may affect your other teeth. The dentist will do a surgical tooth extraction to remove the teeth.
- Crowded teeth. When you have a narrow jaw, your teeth may come out and overlap or twist. You may also have larger teeth than the jaw that can cause the same problem. The dentist will remove these teeth to make room for orthodontia. This is the use of orthodontic devices to reposition the teeth.
- Periodontal disease. Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection. As the infection develops, it can affect the gums and cause pockets. In advanced cases, the infection may affect your bone and cause the teeth to loosen. Our general dentist in Owego will recommend a tooth extraction to remove the loose teeth.
- A necessary treatment after an accident or a fall. When you fall or come in direct contact with an object, your teeth may crack or fracture. If the fracture extends to the roots, the teeth may need an extraction.
- Late primary teeth. Primary teeth start falling out from age seven. The last permanent tooth comes out at 12 years. When the primary teeth delay in falling it may interfere with the development of the permanent ones. Tooth extraction may be necessary to pave way for the adult teeth.
How is the Procedure Done?
A tooth extraction procedure can be simple or surgical. A simple procedure is done on visible teeth and usually lasts for a couple of minutes. When the teeth are impacted and lie beneath the gums, a surgical procedure may be more suitable. The dentist will numb the gums and make an incision on the teeth to access the jaw.
Is the Process Painful?
No. The dentist will numb the gums and soft tissues before the procedure. Dental sedation may be used if you have anxiety or phobia. These medications may also block pain and make the procedure pain-free.
What Can You Expect After?
As the anesthesia begins to wear out, you will experience pain and discomfort. You may also have bleeding that lasts for a couple of hours, which can be controlled using a gauze pad. The dentist will prescribe pain medication and antibiotics to prevent infection and ease the pain.
A blood clot may also foam in the socket to facilitate healing. Protect the blood clot because if it breaks it will cause a dry socket and slow down the healing process.
How Long Does Healing Take?
For the simple extraction, the gums may take a couple of days (1 to 3) days to heal. If a surgical extraction is done, recovery may take longer because of the soft tissues.
During the healing period, avoid eating spicy and hot foods that may irritate the gums. Also, do not drink beverages with a straw because it will dislodge the blood clot.
Schedule an Appointment
Visit Owego Dental for more information about teeth extraction and how it is done.