If you’ve been told you need a tooth extracted, you probably have lots of questions about the necessity of the procedure, the process, and the recovery.
At Beaumont Family Dentistry, a dental extraction is a last resort — if at all possible, we try to save your natural tooth. But sometimes, saving the tooth just isn’t the best way to maintain your oral health and an extraction is necessary.
If we do perform this routine oral surgery, our highest priority is to keep you comfortable throughout. We are happy to answer any questions you have. Call one of our three Lexington locations to schedule an appointment or fill out our online form.
Reasons for Tooth Extractions
- Tooth Decay. If decay is caught early on, there are a number of ways we can repair the damage without resorting to an extraction: fillings, crowns, and root canals, for example. But if the decay is allowed to fester long enough, the tooth may have to be removed.
- Gum Disease. If left untreated, gum disease may progress to the point that it causes the deterioration of the gum tissue and underlying jawbone. Eventually, the teeth will loosen and fall out on their own or require extraction.
- Impacted Teeth. Teeth don’t always come in properly. Sometimes they come in at the wrong angle, or can’t emerge properly due to overcrowding. If this occurs, they may become impacted in the gum, requiring removal.
- Broken tooth. In some cases, a broken tooth may be salvaged with a dental crown. But if it’s severely broken, it may need to be extracted.
- Orthodontics. Sometimes, teeth are pulled strategically prior to orthodontic treatment. In an overcrowded smile, removing teeth allows room for the other pearly whites to shift into the desired place.
Types of Tooth Extractions
There are two main categories of tooth extraction: simple and surgical.
- A simple extraction is the most straightforward of the two procedures and used for teeth that are visible in the mouth. We will use local anesthesia to numb the area so you will feel no pain. We will then loosen the tooth and pull it out with forceps.
- A surgical extraction may be necessary if your tooth has not emerged or has broken off at the gumline. The procedure requires us cutting into the gumline to remove the tooth, and is generally done under local and IV sedation.
You may experience some discomfort after your procedure. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can help reduce pain. You may have some bleeding from the socket for a day or so. Ice packs held to the side of your face can keep swelling to a minimum. Salt-water rinses can help keep your mouth clean during the recovery period. You’ll want to stick to soft, cool foods in the days after your surgery.
At Beaumont Family Dentistry, we don’t recommend tooth extractions lightly. We make sure our patients are educated about and comfortable with the procedure before proceeding. To schedule a consultation at our office, call us today or fill out our online form.