April 2, 2019
Tooth extractions are never something you or your dentist want to experience. Keeping your natural teeth as long as possible is one of the best ways to maintain good oral health; however, there are times when having a tooth extracted is necessary. But when? In this article, your dentist will discuss why a tooth might need to be extracted, how to prevent it, and why some extractions are more difficult than others.
Why Would I Need to Have a Tooth Extracted?
If you’re an older adult, you may not realize it, but you’ve probably already had a tooth extracted. Do you remember having your wisdom teeth removed? Well, that is considered an extraction. Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common reasons your dentist will suggest this type of procedure, but there are others that aren’t quite as common. These can include:
- Teeth that are blocking others from coming in
- If you’re getting braces, you may need to have some teeth pulled to create room for shifting teeth
- Teeth experiencing serious decay and infection, and a crown or filling cannot protect it
How Can I Prevent an Extraction?
What it ultimately comes down is practicing good oral habits at home. By brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes, flossing at least once a day, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash, you can help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. In addition, you should make sure to visit your dentist for your regularly scheduled six-month appointments. This will allow your dentist to thoroughly clean your teeth and address any problems in its early stages.
Why Are Some Extractions More Difficult Than Others?
When your dentist evaluates your tooth and is considering an extraction, you should know there are two types: a simple extraction and a surgical extraction. Each will mean some discomfort after the tooth is removed, but one is much more complex and difficult.
When your tooth can be seen above the gum line, your dentist will loosen the tooth and remove it with forceps. This makes the process incredibly simple and easy to perform.
If the tooth in question is sitting below the gum line, your dentist has no other option but to make an incision and retrieve the tooth. Performed by an oral surgeon, surgical extractions require general anesthesia or deep sedation in order for the patient to remain comfortable. Once your dentist has retrieved the impacted tooth, you will require stitches and pain medication to alleviate discomfort and reduce inflammation.
Remember, having a tooth extracted will always be your dentist’s last resort. You can bet that in every situation, he’ll work to find another solution, but in the end, it may be that removing a tooth is in the best interest of your oral and overall health.
About the Author
Dr. William Olafson, DMD, studied biology at the University of Central Florida before completing his dental education at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. He then went on to complete a one-year General Practice Residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA. Always looking to help his patients find relief from the pain, Dr. Olafson and the team at Columbian Square Dental will work to identify your individual dental needs and find a solution that’s right for you. To find out how we can help you, visit our website or call (781) 337-6644.
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