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What You Should Know About Tooth Extractions
Tooth extractions are a necessary dental procedure today, despite technological advancements in the field that allow dentists to save injured or decayed teeth. This type of procedure is usually recommended when teeth are growing in abnormally, are impacted or the roots have been damaged. Individuals who are facing extraction of one or more teeth may be concerned about the pain involved and how it might affect future oral health; however, learning the facts beforehand may be helpful and allow dental patients to feel more confident about undergoing an extraction.
Main reasons for tooth extractions
Dentists and orthodontists who perform tooth extractions usually have several reasons for doing so. In many cases, these professionals may recommend that a tooth be pulled when there is no other option for treatment and these circumstances can include the following:
- Facial trauma due to an accident
- Wisdom teeth that are crowding the mouth
- Extreme decay of a tooth, including root damage
While losing a tooth can be distressing, in most cases, a dental professional often makes this choice for the overall oral health of the individual.
Tooth extraction myths
Asking questions before an extraction can give patients peace of mind when it comes to some common myths that come along with this procedure. For example, one of the most popular is that tooth extractions are extremely painful when in reality, today’s dental technology has made them much simpler than in the past.
Another myth associated with having a tooth pulled is that the socket rarely heals properly, and it can change the shape of the jaw. However, this is not likely to happen when only one tooth is pulled and if aftercare instructions are followed carefully.
Not all tooth extraction circumstances are the same; however, the steps involved may be similar. The first step is typically having the tooth inspected by a dental team so the damage or decay can be gauged and recorded. During this step, X-rays may be taken to determine any underlying problems with the tooth’s root. In other cases, an exploratory exam might be performed before a dentist decides a tooth cannot be saved.
Once a tooth extraction is scheduled, affected individuals may be given special instructions on how to care for the damaged tooth until the procedure can take place, including the avoidance of certain foods and whether floss should be used near the tooth. On the day of the procedure, patients will likely be given a local anesthetic and undergo the extraction. Patients who require surgical removal of a tooth may be put under sedation.
After the extraction
Most individuals will likely experience pain once the anesthesia wears off. Swelling in the jaw and around the affected area may also occur, but most dentists recommend or supply a painkiller for this. Patients will probably be given written instructions for the care of the empty socket, such as avoiding hot drinks and smoking for the first several days following the extraction. It is important that these directions be followed carefully to expedite proper healing.
Learning the facts about tooth extraction can help patients who must undergo the treatment feel more at ease. Myths and rumors about the process abound but most can be put to rest by speaking with a dental professional.
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