What is tooth extraction?
Plain and simple, extraction is the surgical process of pulling teeth – that is removing them from the gum and bone that hold them in place in your mouth. Pulling a tooth is not something that should be done without consulting with your dentist. We will help you determine whether it is necessary for a tooth to be pulled, and what restoration treatment should be done afterwards, such as adding a dental implant or a bridge to replace the missing tooth.
Much more is involved, however, than the old cartoon of wrapping a string around the tooth, tying it to a door handle, and slamming the door shut.
Why would you choose to have a tooth extracted?
There are various reasons why one or more teeth would need to be removed. The tooth may have become decayed beyond repair or severely infected, for instance. If you crack a tooth and its roots are not sufficiently healthy, removing it might be the best way to keep infection from spreading to other teeth or your gums. Your dentist may recommend an extraction in preparing you for braces or other orthodontic work. Also, many people find that incoming rear molars – “wisdom teeth” – are crowding other teeth and need to be removed to reduce pain and swelling.
What can you expect with an extraction?
Pulling a tooth is a process that we can do in our office, although sometimes in severe cases a dental surgeon is necessary. You will have a local or general anesthetic applied to reduce pain and help the dentist easily remove the tooth depending on how it is impacted. Your dentist will need to grasp the tooth with forceps, and rock the tooth back and forth until it is loosened from the gum. In serious cases, a tooth may be broken into pieces before it is removed.
You may be asked not to eat or drink for some hours before the surgery, and afterwards will be kept from chewing for a period of a few hours. In cases involving impacted wisdom teeth, the recovery period will be a few days, and caution must be taken to ensure your gums are healing properly. You should feel free to call Dr. Friedman at Bluffton Center for Dentistry if there are any problems.