Tooth extraction is a procedure that is done when a tooth has been damaged beyond repair due to decay, infection or trauma. However, there are many reasons for which you might need a tooth extraction:
- Orthodontia – It is the process of aligning the teeth in case you have a crowded mouth. This is also done when teeth (usually wisdom teeth) is unable to break through the gums because there is not enough space in the mouth.
- Infection – Tooth decay is a major cause of tooth extraction. If bacteria enter the pulp of your tooth, it can badly infect it. Usually, root canal therapy is recommended to cure infections but in some cases the damage is beyond restoring and extracting the tooth is the only option.
- Gum Disease – Periodontal disease is an infection which affects the tissues and bones surrounding your teeth. The infection results in weakening of the gums which makes them incapable of supporting teeth, thus making extraction necessary.
Preparing for a Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction is a simple and safe procedure. However, in some cases, it can cause infections in the gum tissue. If you are at a high risk of infections (for example, if you are diabetic), you need to let your dentist know that beforehand so that you can be put on a dose of antibiotics both before and after the procedure. Make it a point to discuss your medical history with your dentist so that he can give you medications accordingly. Here are some conditions which you must mention to your dentist before having an extraction:
- Damaged heart valves
- Congenital heart disease
- Immune system problems
- Liver problems
- Hip replacement
- History of bacterial endocarditis
The Dental Extraction Procedure
Before an extraction, your dentist will give a local anesthesia in order to ensure that you feel no pain during the procedure. In case you are having more than one tooth extracted, your dentist might go choose general anesthesia.
After the anesthesia, the dentist makes incisions on the gum and bone tissue which cover the tooth. Then, with small tongs, the dentist moves the tooth to loosen it from the ligaments and the jaw bone. Once it is loose enough, the tooth is extracted.
Following the extraction, a blood clot is formed in the socket onto which your dentist puts a gauze pad to stop the bleeding. In some cases, a few self-dissolving stitches are made to quicken the healing process.
After the Dental Extraction
After the extraction is done, your dentist will give you a diet which you need to follow strictly for a few days. Make sure you take all the medications that are prescribed as well. If you follow the instructions of your dentist, the recovery will be fast and hassle free. If you feel any unusual discomfort after the procedure, like nausea, fever and chills, excessive discharge from the gums or chest pain, you need to call your dentist.