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The Truth About Tooth Extraction: When Is It Necessary?

An image of a dental office in Tarzana, CA

Tooth extraction is a dental procedure carried out by a periodontist that involves the removal of a tooth from its gum socket. Sometimes it may involve removing more than one tooth.

So, when do you need a tooth extraction? Research shows that in 52% of cases, cavities or tooth damage was the most common reason for extraction. While it may be one of the most common indications that you may need a tooth extraction, there are more symptoms to consider. These include severe dental pain, no improvement after the root canal procedure, swollen gums, and a history of gum disease. The only way to recover from this is to visit a dentist and get the affected tooth removed.

As painful as the process seems, tooth extraction is necessary to improve overall health in some situations. Let’s explore some circumstances when tooth extraction is required.

Severe Tooth Decay or Damage

Sometimes a tooth is so severely infected, decayed, or damaged that it’s impossible to restore through dental crowns and fillings. In this situation, it may be necessary to extract the tooth to prevent further infection and damage to surrounding teeth.

Crowding

Crowding in teeth refers to a lack of space on the jaw to fit or align the teeth. While most adults have 32 teeth, some may have a few extras. In such cases, tooth extraction is necessary to create space in the mouth and align the teeth properly.

Periodontal disease

Periodontal diseases are infections and inflammation in the gums or the structure around the teeth caused and are by bacteria. There are different stages of periodontal disease; the first is gingivitis, which causes an infection in the gums. When the disease damages most of the tooth, it is necessary to do a tooth extraction to prevent the spread of periodontal disease to other teeth.

An image of a doctor showing a teeth structure

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted teeth are the ones that do not emerge or develop normally from the gum line. For example, a wisdom tooth or third molar gets stuck on the surface of the gums and starts growing at the wrong angle. It can cause pain and infection, which may require an extraction.

Accidents

Sometimes, accidents that impact a person’s face require dental treatments. An example can be a car accident in which the teeth are damaged due to pressure from the crash. While doctors’ priority is to preserve the teeth through different treatments, in some cases, tooth extraction may be necessary.

The Process

The procedure takes place at a dental office, where the dentist starts by numbing the gums and area around the teeth with a local anesthetic. It helps minimize the pain and discomfort the patient feels during the procedure. If the tooth is stuck on the surface of the gum, the dentist may need to make an incision in the gum line to access it.

After pulling the teeth out, a blood clot will form in the socket. To stop the bleeding, the dentist will put a piece of gauze over the surgical area and ask you to put pressure by biting it. The teeth extraction procedure can cause swelling and discomfort. However, these symptoms subside in a few days.

An image of doctors performing the tooth extraction surgery

Aftercare

After the extraction procedure, it’s essential to protect the surgical area from infection to promote fast healing. It may involve avoiding certain foods and activities for a period of time. It can include:

  • Hard food items
  • Hot liquid
  • Spicy food
  • Smoking
  • Strenuous physical activity

You can also ask your dentist to prescribe pain medication to manage discomfort and antibiotics to avoid infection. You should also avoid drinking with a straw, as it can poke and cause pain in the affected area. Don’t skip brushing your teeth but avoid it over the surgical area. Lastly, follow up with your dentist when required and get a regular cleaning.

The idea of tooth extraction can be daunting. So, what if we tell you that a little extra care and good oral health can help you avoid getting a tooth extraction altogether?

Schedule a Checkup at All Smiles Family Dentistry

All Smiles Family Dentistry offers preventive dentistry services in Tarzana, CA. Our dentists provide instructions and teeth/gum care tips to help avoid periodontal diseases like cavities and other dental issues.

We encourage people to get routine examinations to spot oral illnesses in the early stage and prevent surgeries like tooth extractions. Contact us now to schedule your appointment at our dental office Tarzana, CA.

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