Good oral health is essential to your overall well-being. A lack of proper oral hygiene can result in gum disease, tooth decay, and even more severe health complications. Sometimes a tooth extraction may be necessary to maintain optimal oral health.
The experts at Hometown Family Dental Centers — with convenient locations in Fayetteville, Raeford, and Vass, North Carolina — provide sedation dentistry to put you at ease in the dentist’s chair while you undergo any of our full range of dental services to ensure your oral health. Our friendly staff always makes sure you're comfortable and relaxed during your procedure.
Are you experiencing pain or infection in your tooth? While our dentists always strive to save your natural tooth when possible, a tooth extraction might be required in some cases. Understanding when tooth extractions are absolutely necessary can help you make more informed decisions about your oral care.
Reasons for tooth extractions
There are a few reasons your dentist might recommend extracting a tooth.
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars, which emerge in your late teens or early 20s. They can be a source of discomfort, pain, and swelling if there’s not enough space in your jaw for them to come in correctly.
Wisdom teeth can also push neighboring teeth out of alignment. We might recommend extracting wisdom teeth if they’re causing pain or if they’re likely to cause problems in the future.
An untreated cavity can penetrate deep into the tooth pulp or root, leading to an infection that may spread to surrounding tissues. Sometimes this infection can be treated with a root canal. But if the decay is too advanced or if there’s an abscess, we may have to extract the tooth.
Advanced gum disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a chronic bacterial infection affecting the gums and even the bones supporting your teeth. Advanced gum disease can cause tooth loss and other oral health problems. In severe cases, tooth extraction may be the only option to prevent the spread of infection.
Orthodontic treatment often starts with evaluating the teeth to determine the best course of action. In some cases, the jaw may not have enough space for all of your teeth to fit together for a proper bite, so tooth extraction might be necessary to create space for braces or aligners.
Tooth extraction procedure
The tooth extraction procedure is relatively straightforward. After numbing the area surrounding the tooth with a local anesthetic, your dentist uses a tool to loosen and remove the tooth and root.
Depending on the location of the tooth and its size, the dentist may need to use forceps or surgical tools to remove the tooth. Afterward, gauze is placed over the extraction site to stop any bleeding. In some cases, stitches may be necessary to close the wound.
After tooth extraction, taking good care of the area is essential to prevent complications. You should rest and avoid physical activity for the first 24 hours. Apply ice to your cheek to reduce swelling.
Eat soft foods, and avoid drinking through a straw to prevent dislodging the blood clot. Brush and floss your teeth gently, avoiding the extraction site. Take over-the-counter pain relievers as needed, but avoid aspirin, which can increase the bleeding risk.
Everyone's dental situation is different, and electing for a tooth extraction is a decision that’s best made with your dentist. Although tooth extractions may sound daunting, they're often necessary and can be handled without complication.
With proper preparation and understanding of the process, you can ensure a safe, successful procedure to restore your oral health. If you’re experiencing any concerning symptoms, contact Hometown Family Dental Centers to set up an appointment to discuss your dental needs.