Extractions can be performed by general dentists, periodontists, and oral surgeons. Before a tooth extraction can occur, a thorough oral examination takes place. Your dentist will explain why the procedure is needed. It if often considered the last option. The doctor will always make sure that the extraction is as painless as possible. Your comfort and the health of your mouth are their top priorities.
There are two types of teeth extractions: simple and surgical.
Simple extractions are performed on teeth that can be seen. Local anesthesia is used to numb the area and reduce pain. The procedure is often carried out by general dentists, who use different tools, such as an elevator and dental forceps. First, the tooth is loosened with an elevator. Then, the forceps are used to grasp it. A steady pressure is applied as the tooth is moved back and forth until the ligament breaks, and the tooth loosens from the bone.
Surgical extractions are performed on teeth that are not visible or cannot be accessed easily, for example if the teeth have not fully erupted or if they fractured under the gumline. Sometimes, a dentist may make incisions in the soft tissue to access the tooth. In many cases, to make removal easier, the tooth may be split into smaller fragments. Since surgical extractions are more complex and time consuming, general anesthesia is used. Most often the procedure is carried out by an oral surgeon, although some general dentists may also be able to perform it.
Why do I need a tooth extraction?
Our second set of teeth are meant to be permanent and last us a lifetime. However, sometimes that is not the case. Here are top reasons for why you might need a tooth extraction:
- The tooth is severely damaged by decay.
When bacteria produced by decay reach the center of the tooth, or the pulp, they can cause an infection. To treat it, a root canal procedure may be offered as an option. However, in cases of severe or recurring infections, extraction of the tooth may be necessary. Your dentist will be sure to explain all available options and provide a safe and comfortable solution.
- You suffer from periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is an infection affecting gums, ligaments, alveolar bone (part of the jaw that holds the teeth) and other structures that surround the teeth. It starts with gingivitis, or an infection of the gums. In more severe cases, it affects the periodontal ligaments and the alveolar bone. Bacteria found in dental plaque are the cause of periodontal disease. In some cases, periodontal disease leads to the loosening of a tooth. A tooth extraction is then a possibility.
- Your tooth is impacted.
An impacted tooth is one that did not fully erupt; it was blocked from coming out. Very often that is the case for wisdom teeth. To minimize the risk of an infection and to prevent the impacted tooth from damaging other teeth, your dentist may suggest an extraction. However, before it can be performed, the doctor will examine your mouth and take X-rays of the affected area.
- You suffer from overcrowded teeth.
To eliminate overcrowding in your mouth, an extraction of one or more teeth may ne needed. Tooth extraction are also necessary, when an orthodontic treatment is not an option (for example where there is to room for teeth straighten or move).
- You’ve been injured.
If you were in an accident and need dental treatment, the first option is always to save the teeth. Crowns, bridges, bonding or veneers may be recommended to fix your smile. In some instances, though, a tooth extraction is the only option.
Dental extractions help reduce pain, inflammation, infections, or complications. Whenever possible, simple extractions are preferred over surgical procedures, as they are easier to perform and pose less risks and adverse effects.
Frequently Asked Questions about Tooth Extractions Cincinnati, Ohio [OH]
How should I prepare for a tooth extraction?
Although teeth extractions may be very stressful, you can feel less anxious by getting prepared. First, remember to always ask questions. Your doctor will gladly answer all of them because it is important that you understand the whole procedure. Remember, no question is to silly.
Secondly, share your medical history with your dentist or oral surgeon. Make sure you talk to them about any conditions you are suffering from, as they may make you more susceptible to infections. It is better not to leave anything out. In addition, bring with you a list of all the medications you are taking to check for possible drug interactions.
Talk to your healthcare provider about painkillers and anesthesia, especially if you have any strong preferences. Discuss what substances will be used during the procedure, and what side effects they may have. If you have had any experiences with anesthesia or sedation, make sure to tell your dentist as well.
Another way to prepare for the procedure is to avoid eating for about 12 hours before the extraction. If you are going to have only a local anesthetic applied, fasting this long may not be necessary. Talk to your dentist about what would be right for you. It is also important that you cease smoking for 12 hours before the procedure, and 24 hours after.
On the day of the procedure wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. Avoid make up, perfume and jewelry. Put your hair back.
Once the procedure is over, make sure you have someone with you to help you as you recover. Arrange for a family member or friend to drive you home. You may also consider taking some time off work, especially if you’re undergoing a surgical extraction.
What happens after the extraction?
Once your tooth/teeth are out, you will need a day or two to recuperate. It may take at least few hours for the anesthesia to wear off, so your tongue and cheeks might feel numb for a while. Your dentist will suggest a special diet, that consists of soft foods and liquids. Avoid drinking through straws, spitting and rinsing your mouth as these may lead to a dry socket. When you lay down, make sure you prop your head up. When brushing teeth, avoid touching the extraction site. Take painkillers per your dentist’ instructions. Monitor the site of the extraction. There might be swelling, however, if you develop more serious symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, severe bleeding or swelling, shortness of breath or chest pain, call you doctor immediately. These may be signs of an infection.
Are teeth extractions covered by insurance?
To find out if teeth extractions are covered by your insurance provider, it is best to contact them before the procedure. You can also discuss your benefits with the dental office staff.