What To Expect With A Tooth Extraction

Tooth extracting dental tools with a tooth sitting near a mirror and forceps.

While our permanent teeth are supposed to last us a lifetime, they sometimes need to be extracted due to disease or age. Tooth extraction is a last resort after other restorative treatments have been exhausted. Due to their intrusive nature, tooth extractions usually involve a local anesthetic to reduce pain and induce relaxation. Teeth are usually extracted if they’re too damaged for repair, when gum recession has caused your teeth to become loose and after a failed root canal therapy treatment. Find out what you can do to avoid having a tooth extracted and what to expect during the procedure with this guide!

What Necessitates A Tooth Extraction?

Teeth are the strongest substance in the body, but they can decay or become damaged over time. Whenever teeth become infected to the point where they cannot be saved, a tooth extraction will be necessary. A tooth extraction is only required when other options have been exhausted or if leaving the tooth in your mouth will negatively affect surrounding teeth. Teeth may need to be extracted if:

  • They are damaged beyond repair.
  • Baby teeth don’t fall out in time and prevent permanent teeth from growing in.
  • Wisdom teeth have grown in and become painful.
  • Extra teeth are blocking or misaligning other teeth.
  • The tooth pulp is infected and doesn’t respond to root canal therapy.
  • Your gums have begun receding from periodontal disease and your teeth are loose.

These are the most common reasons why a tooth extraction becomes necessary. However, your dentist will do everything he/she can to avoid a tooth extraction procedure since they’re quite invasive and painful during recovery. If your oral health necessitates a tooth extraction, make sure that you prepare yourself beforehand so that the procedure can go as well as possible.

How To Prepare For The Procedure

Woman having tooth removed by a female dentist.

Before your procedure, make sure to let your dentist know of any medical conditions that you have, such as congenital heart defect, cirrhosis or a weak immune system. While tooth extractions are generally safe for the majority of patients, those with these medical conditions should take extra precautions when undergoing a tooth extraction. Secondly, be prepared to take dental X-rays as the dentist will want to see exactly what he/she is dealing with, what teeth are involved and if wisdom teeth need to be removed. Before removal, the dentist will inject local anesthesia (or general anesthesia if the procedure is more involved) to numb the area. If you need multiple teeth removed, general anesthesia is typically recommended so that you don’t feel any pain. Impacted teeth are hardest to remove since they’re stuck under your gum and bone tissue, thus causing a longer extraction process. Your tooth will be loosened with a tool called an elevator, then removed with forceps to complete the process. Sometimes your tooth will need to be cut in half to be removed or a slit will be made in the gum tissue in the case that the tooth is still beneath the gums. Whatever the case, once removed, a blood clot will form in the area where the tooth was once located and gauze will be inserted to stop the bleeding. Dissolvable stitches are often placed, as well, to close the gum tissue and aid in the healing process. 

Tips For Keeping Teeth Healthy

As mentioned previously, a tooth extraction is a last-resort option for teeth that are damaged beyond repair and can’t be saved. If you want to avoid having one or more of your teeth extracted, it’s important that you establish a good oral hygiene routine to keep them healthy. One of the easiest ways to prevent decay-ridden teeth is by brushing with fluoride toothpaste each day and flossing between your teeth. This process removes the majority of decay-causing plaque that eats away at your teeth until they become unrecoverable. Making sure that you’re eating a healthy diet with limited amounts of sugary foods and snacks will help keep plaque from forming in the first place and give your teeth the vitamins it needs to keep its enamel strong. Lastly, visiting with your dentist for regular cleanings will keep decay at bay and prevent it from building up and hardening between your teeth. Even if you think that your teeth are doing just fine, it’s important to have regular dental checkups to stay on top of gum disease and identify any underlying issues that may be developing without your knowledge. Committing to a good oral hygiene regimen now will protect your teeth in the future and drastically reduce your likelihood of a tooth extraction. Although simple, these tips make a big difference in the long run for your oral health and finances.

Get A Beautiful Smile With Our Help!

Whether you need a tooth extraction or dental checkup, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies can help! Our team is experienced with helping patients heal from a tooth extraction and providing the technology and tools for a positive dental experience. Call our office today at (970) 223-8425 to schedule a consultation and get your oral health back on track!