Tooth Extractions

If you have a decayed tooth, or it has been damaged and a filling or a crown won’t be able to repair it, then your dentist may recommend that you take out the tooth by having an extraction. Extractions are also carried out if orthodontic treatment has indicated that more space is needed in a patient’s mouth. A common procedure is the extraction of wisdom teeth.

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About Tooth Extractions

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Is an extraction a simple procedure?

There are actually two types of tooth extraction. A simple extraction can be carried out if the tooth can be seen above the gum line. A more complicated procedure is a surgical extraction. This occurs when the tooth is broken or hasn’t come through the gum.

How is the tooth extracted?

With a simple extraction the dentist makes the tooth loose by using a special instrument called an elevator. Once it has been loosened sufficiently the dentist will then pull the tooth out with dental forceps. A surgical extraction is carried out for teeth still under the gum and your dentist will make an incision in your gum, along the gum line and then extract the tooth beneath it.

Why do wisdom teeth often need extracting?

Wisdom teeth don’t normally appear until after all or most of an adult’s teeth have come through and sometimes there just isn’t enough room for any more teeth. This impedes the growth of the wisdom teeth and they can become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can become infected or even damage the teeth next to them. If this happens then a dentist will recommend that the wisdom teeth are removed. This is often carried out by a surgical procedure, because wisdom teeth are often hard to access or under the gum line.

What pain relief can I have for a tooth extraction?

A simple extraction will normally only require an anaesthetic injection, which numbs the tooth and the gum around it. A surgical procedure may involve an anaesthetic injection and the use of nitrous oxide and oxygen which helps you to relax. As the nitrous oxide wears off quite quickly, you should be able to drive your car to get home after a procedure using this method of pain relief. Other types of pain relief include taking a pill about an hour before surgery, which will make you relaxed and drowsy or sedation through a vein in your arm. If the procedure is particularly complicated, or you are an extremely nervous patient, you can opt to have a general anaesthetic, which will put you to sleep completely.

Will I have pain after the tooth extraction?

Once the tooth has been taken out, your dentist will put a gauze pad over the gum to stop the bleeding. Sometimes it may be necessary to have stitches, which will self- dissolve in your mouth. You will have some pain after surgery, but it should be relieved by taking pain killers as prescribed by your dentist. Within a few days you should feel completely better.

If you think you might need a tooth extraction, ask your dentist to check out your teeth and talk to him or her about the type of pain relief the surgery offers, so that you can choose to have your procedure  feeling relaxed and without being anxious.

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