My family's dental health is important to me. Unfortunately for me, it is not as important to my little ones. Getting my kids to brush and floss on a daily basis is almost like taking on an obstacle course. I talked to my family's dentist about different methods I could try to encourage them to brush and floss on a regular basis. Some of the tricks worked, some did not. After some experimentation and talking to other parents, I was able to come up with a lot of great tips for helping kids care for their teeth. I started this blog to help other parents get creative when it comes to their kids and dental care.
Most tooth extractions are simple procedures performed under a local anesthetic. The recovery process is usually the painful and messy part.
Why would you get a tooth extracted (pulled)?
Because of advances in preventive dental care and the intricate procedures dentists will use to save a tooth, why is it sometimes necessary to have a tooth extracted? Reasons might include:
Removing a tooth to ease tooth crowding
Because the modern jawbone cannot accommodate the number of teeth needed by earlier humans to chew coarser foods, many people experience crowding of teeth. This may inhibit proper cleaning and hygiene, and also cause teeth to grow in crooked or overlap each other.
A tooth may be pulled before orthodontic work is started so the teeth can be aligned properly.
Extracting a tooth that is beyond saving
Sometimes patients allow their teeth to decay to the point that they cannot be saved. Often multiple teeth will be pulled to be replaced by bridges or dentures.
Tooth extraction because of infection may fall into two categories. The tooth area itself may be infected or the patient may have a suppressed immune system.
In the case of an infected tooth, invasive procedures such as root canals to remove infections that have reached the root of the tooth may have been unsuccessful. This leaves tooth extraction as the last option for removing an infection.
For patients with immune systems that are weakened by illness or medical treatments, the mere threat of a life-threatening infection is enough reason to extract a tooth that is mildly infected.
What happens when a tooth extraction is performed?
A simple tooth extraction will only require a local anesthetic supplied by a needle into the area around the extraction. A more complex extraction, such as when a tooth is impacted (which means it is not fully exposed), may require cutting to remove it. An impacted tooth may need to be removed in pieces,
In situations such as this, a general anesthetic may be used to put the patient to sleep while the extraction is being performed.
After the extraction is performed, bleeding and swelling may occur. Bleeding can be controlled by applying gauze to the extraction site. Gauze should be held in place for a period of several hours before changing, so a blood clot can form. The patient should also refrain from vigorous exercise for twenty four hours to allow the blood clot to remain in place.
Allowing a blood clot to form is important for keeping the exposed bone and nerves protected and to facilitate healing. If a clot is not formed, the site is exposed to everything that enters your mouth and a painful condition called "dry socket" may be produced. Although this condition is temporary, it can cause pain for several days after the extraction.
Getting a tooth extracted is usually not a physically traumatic experience, but you should explore your available options for "filling the gap" left after the tooth is removed. A missing tooth can cause remaining teeth to become misaligned and can leave the surface area of adjoining teeth exposed to greater risk of tooth decay.
Contact a professional like William J Guthrie DDS PC for more information.