Almost every dentist in Florida will agree that removing a tooth is never a fun process. However, sometimes it’s better to extract those teeth than leave them in your mouth to cause pain and discomfort. It’s not just for adults either. The Oral Health Foundation cites statistics from Public Health England that suggest that as many as 141 children per day have a rotten tooth removed. Tooth extraction is probably the most well-known procedure that dentists perform. Even so, is tooth extraction what you want? Losing a tooth, especially permanently, may affect your oral health in the long run. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons for tooth extraction, whether it’s a good idea, and offer a few tips to deal with recovery if you do need to get it done.
Types of Extraction
If you ask any dentist in Florida, they’ll tell you that there are two types of tooth extraction. Each one has its own uses and applies to different situations:
- Simple Extraction: Simple extractions deal with visible teeth. They usually use local anesthesia to numb the pain. After the dentist numbs your tooth, it’s a simple matter of using a tool called an elevator to loosen it gently. The dentist can then use the forceps to grip the tooth and remove it altogether.
- Surgical Extraction: The more complicated of the two methods is known as a surgical extraction. This method will also use local anesthesia, but an IV anesthetic will usually follow it. It is the chosen method for removing teeth that aren’t easily seen, such as impacted teeth or those that haven’t erupted as yet. The dentist will usually use a small incision to gain access and may need to remove bone around the offending tooth before dealing with it directly.
A dentist in Florida is likely to advise tooth extraction only as a last resort. Adult human teeth are known as permanent teeth for a reason. They’re supposed to last your entire lifetime. Removal should only be the final resort if all other methods of repair have been exhausted.
When Extraction is the Only Option
There are several situations where a patient may not have any choice but to extract their permanent teeth. Some of the more common reasons for extraction include:
If a patient collides with someone or something, and the accident leads to damage to their mouth, the dentist usually has a call to make. The typical approach is to see if there’s any way to save the teeth within the patient’s mouth. Various techniques can be used to achieve this goal, including bonding and crowns. However, tooth extraction might be the only option left to the professional if the damage to the teeth is severe and irreversible.
2. Overcrowded Mouth
Science Daily notes that overcrowding only became an issue around 12,000 years ago because human beings evolved smaller mouths yet kept the same number of teeth. Overcrowding can lead to problems with oral health as well as the aesthetics of a patient’s mouth. Dealing with overcrowding may require the patient to undergo tooth extraction to allow some space for teeth to realign.
3. Impacted Teeth
Having a smaller mouth can also lead to impacted teeth. In many patients, impacted teeth can be painful and distracting. In a few cases, these teeth haven’t erupted as yet, and some of them may show signs of poor alignment at the back of the patient’s mouth. Impacted teeth can lead to even more complications within a patient’s mouth, and extracting them is the recommended course of action.
4. Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease affects alveolar bones, gums, and periodontal ligaments. Its earliest presentation is in gingivitis. Occasionally, if a patient has periodontal disease, it may lead to loosening of teeth because of the damage to the body’s tissue. Periodontal therapy is the recommended course of action for dealing with this disease, but the loose tooth may require extraction to reduce pain and discomfort.
5. Severe Decay
Probably the most common reason why dentists need to extract teeth from patients is because of severe and irreparable decay. By now, you should know what causes tooth decay and how to prevent it. In the cases where you don’t take tooth decay seriously, it’s likely to lead to a situation where your dentist needs to extract the tooth. Leaving it in your mouth will lead to pain and possibly spread the infection further.
The Risks Associated with Tooth Extraction
Even though your dentist in Florida may have perfected the art of tooth extraction, there are still several inherent risks associated with removing your teeth. After an extraction, your mouth typically forms a clot to protect you from blood loss. Occasionally, however, this clot becomes dislodged or (in rare cases) doesn’t even form. Dentists can deal with this condition (called a “dry socket”) by administering a sedative to the location to a few days. This sedative dressing allows a new clot to form.
Other risks are also present from tooth extractions. Some patients may complain of shortness of breath or chest pains, suggesting internal infection. Occasionally, the site may become inflamed and sore, requiring your dentist to investigate for potential infection. Bleeding that lasts longer than twelve hours is also a symptom that you should ask your dentist about. If you develop a cough, nausea, or vomiting, you should also bring it to the notice of your dentists. These matters are vital to ensuring that your overall health remains intact after your dentist is done with your tooth extraction.
Recovering from A Tooth Extraction
Typically, it takes your body a few days to recover from a tooth extraction. Even though it’s not as invasive as other surgeries, it still falls into the same category. When recovering from dental surgery, a few tips can help you get back on your feet quicker:
- Immediately after your dentist completes the procedure, use an ice pack to reduce the swelling. It would help if you didn’t use the ice pack for more than ten-minute intervals.
- The dentist is likely to put a gauze over the extraction site after the procedure is complete. Bite down on the dressing to help blood clot formation. It’s advised that you leave the gauze in for between three and four hours, or until the bandage is completely soaked through.
- Take your prescribed medication. Painkillers are crucial for you to live with the pain. During the early part of the recovery process, you may have twinges of pain at the site. Painkillers will help to manage those issues.
- Keep to soft foods or liquids at room temperature on the day of your surgery. You should slowly reintroduce soft solid foods into your diet as your healing progresses, but avoid biting down on hard things for as much as two weeks.
- Use a salt rinse after the first 24 hours. Typically, the salt rinse should use half a teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of warm water. Brush and floss as usual, but try to avoid the extraction site as much as possible.
Should You Extract your Teeth?
As we said before, you shouldn’t look at extraction as the first option. You should save that choice for when you exhaust all other avenues. Anderson Dental Lake Worth focuses on our clients’ long-term oral health, and we offer our expertise when it comes to tooth extraction. Our dentist will be glad to consult with you and give you other things you can consider before deciding on tooth removal. If you want to experience genuine family-friendly dental care, or just want to consult with a knowledgeable professional, contact us today! We’d be glad to hear from you.