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First Aid

Tooth Extractions: Ouch!

We all dread visiting the dentist; we try to avoid the unpleasant experience at all costs! But when your gum starts throbbing and there is no escaping a mouth full of pain, you have to put your big boy pants on and make the trip. Whilst your dentist should first put every effort in to save your tooth and eradicate the pain, often extracting the tooth will be the only solution. If this is the case for you, perhaps you would like more information on the procedure and what to expect, just to ease your mind.

What is a tooth extraction?

A Tooth Extraction is a medical procedure where a tooth is surgically removed from the mouth. This procedure usually takes place at the dentist’s office and is performed by a licensed practitioner or specialist. A local or general anaesthetic is administered and when done correctly, the extraction should be quick and pain free. With the technology and preventative care that is available today, tooth extractions should be accepted as the last resort after all other methods of saving the tooth have been tried or at least considered.

Why would you need to extract a tooth?

There are a few reasons why it might be necessary to remove a tooth. Usually extractions are done when a tooth has decayed and is causing pain and inflammation. Rotting teeth can be harmful to the overall health of one’s body so it is important to rectify or eliminate the problem. Teeth are also often removed because they overcrowd each other. When wisdom teeth grow skew, they are usually removed to prevent other dental problems. In some instances gum disease will result in the extraction of a tooth.

The tooth extraction process.

As mentioned before, a tooth extraction procedure will require general or local anaesthetic to be administered. It is a simple surgery and can proceed from a minute up to an hour, depending on how many teeth need to be removed and how complex the problem is deemed. The dentist will use sterilized dental forceps and sometimes a dental drill during the surgery. On rare occasions a small incision will be made.

Aftercare guidelines:

After the procedure your dentist should give you instruction on how to care for the extraction area to ensure a healthy recovery. You will be prescribed some light-medium pain medication and you might also be required to take a course of antibiotics to avoid an infection. The wound might take a while to stop bleeding, if this happens, don’t panic. If the extraction continues to bleed for more than a day however, inform your Dr for medical advice.

Try and keep the extraction area as clean and as dry as possible. After about 6 months, the hole will have completely closed up with gum tissue. If the extraction area continues to ache and swell however, it might be infected and you should seek immediate medical attention from your dentist.

It is important to practice proper oral care to avoid dental problems; a good tooth brush, tooth paste and some dental floss can go a long way and are sure to aid in preventing nasty visits to the dentist. Never avoid visiting you dentist for too long however as regular check-ups could foresee potential problems and thus eradicate them before they occur. Perhaps making an appointment with your dentist right now is not such a bad idea?

Source by Amie F Harms

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