Tooth extractions are routine dental procedures used to remove decayed, damaged or otherwise problematic teeth. Every effort is made to preserve natural teeth, but sometimes an extraction is necessary. Even though the procedure is performed in an office, it is considered surgery. Depending on which teeth are removed, they may be replaced with a dental implant or another oral prosthetic.
There are several reasons why you could need a tooth extraction.
The most common cause of tooth extractions is severe tooth decay and cavities. However, many patients also undergo extractions for impacted teeth – particularly impacted wisdom teeth. Other causes for extraction include advanced periodontal disease, cracked teeth, and teeth that are severely malformed. Although many circumstances that require extraction are unavoidable, some could be prevented with regular visits to the dentist for exams and cleanings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a tooth extraction?
Only your dentist or oral surgeon can tell you if you need a tooth extraction. However, you may be a candidate for the procedure if one or more of your teeth are decayed so severely that a filling or other types of restoration are not a possibility for treatment.
What should I expect during my tooth extraction appointment?
You will be given a local anesthetic to prevent pain during the procedure, and you may be prescribed medications to help manage pain in the hours following your extraction. Depending on the nature of your extraction and other factors, such as whether your teeth are impacted, you may also be sedated or given general anesthesia during your procedure.
What type of post-treatment care will I need to follow?
Post-operative care following a tooth extraction is essential for healing and preventing complications. You will be instructed to avoid certain foods and keep the surgical site clean at all times. If you are prescribed an antibiotic, it is important that you complete the course of treatment to prevent infection. Finally, you may be advised to avoid smoking or drinking through a straw because doing so may delay the healing process and cause a condition known as “dry socket.”