People often panic when they hear the term “extraction,” but it is a common dental procedure that needs to be performed to preserve the overall health and wellness of the entire mouth, not just a single tooth. Tooth extraction is often the last resort and must be done in the case of extreme infection, extensive damage to the interior and root, gum disease, overcrowding of the mouth, and improper tooth growth.
The first exposure many individuals have to tooth extraction is when the wisdom teeth are removed in adolescence or adulthood. Wisdom teeth frequently grow in the wrong place, or there is no room for them in the mouth or jaw. Because of their irregular growth, wisdom teeth cause an intense amount of pain or will crowd other teeth, making them crooked and uncomfortable.
The first step in tooth extraction is making an appointment with a dentist who will perform a visual and tactile exam before taking x-rays to see the extent of any damage. Once a tooth has been isolated, a local anesthetic will be applied to the tooth and gums to prevent pain. The dentist then uses a special tool to pull the tooth in a slow, even motion. You may feel some pressure, but there shouldn’t be any pain.
Once the tooth is removed, you will be given instructions on how to properly care for the extraction site. The area will be sanitized as well to prevent infection. Sometimes medication will be prescribed, but the site should not be sore for more than 24 hours. If it is, it’s best to call the dentist to check in and see if any additional examination or treatment is necessary.
This is one of the simplest procedures dentists handle regularly, and almost every human in the United States will need to have it done at some point in their lives. Even children sometimes have teeth removed to prevent future crowding. If you think you need an extraction, consider making an appointment.