What are tooth extractions?

Despite their simplicity, tooth extractions happen to be a much loathed but necessary facet of dentistry. For many, tooth removal is a procedure that’s much feared even though it shouldn’t be. While there are many tales about the horrors of having a tooth pulled out, the reality is that extractions are simple, straight forward and relatively painless. Dentists also only perform them when absolutely necessary.

Today there are many dental treatments that can prevent tooth extractions being necessary, and it has to be said that the number of extractions carried out today is a great deal less than 20 years ago. However, the reality is that there are indeed symptoms and conditions that make this treatment unfortunately necessary. Such problems include: impacted / fractured teeth, dental caries or cavities, abscesses or other complications.

Other than having a medical reason to have teeth taken out, for many there are cosmetic orthodontic reasons to have this procedure performed. Many people suffer from having too many teeth or teeth that are imperfectly formed and as a result, extractions can be necessary in order to ensure that the remaining teeth are able to grow correctly.

Thankfully, when tooth removal is warranted, it’s a procedure that’s actually simple and almost painless. Other than the initial discomfort of an injection to numb the gums where the tooth will be removed, it’s a procedure that while uncomfortable, should not hurt, as once the anesthetic has been applied, the dentist will use a pair of dental forceps to gently loosen and remove the tooth.

Afterwards, while there might be some swelling and bleeding, generally it won’t be too painful. All side-effects generally subside within around three-days and after the extraction you should be able to do things normally, although caution is recommended when eating / drinking hot and cold foods.

With many, tooth extractions are relatively well-tolerated, however there can be complications. Usually after the procedure you should feel a little discomfort. If severe pain is felt for an extended period (a few days) after the extraction, it’s best to go back to the dentist so they can check for complications.

Such complications include possible sinus exposure, which whilst it may sound severe is normally a relatively straightforward problem to fix, that the dentist can address at the clinic. Rarer complications include bone fracture, however many dentists will not attempt a routine extraction if such a risk is evident.

For more difficult and strongly rooted teeth, often tooth extraction is recommended. If this is the case, normally you will be asked to attend the local hospital to undergo an out-patient procedure that involves removing the tooth surgically. It is typically more complicated and while recovery times are longer, it’s also well tolerated and a generally straightforward procedure.

The myth of tooth extractions being agonizing and painful events really are false as any dentist will tell you – it’s a job that they do every day without incident. For many, the biggest problem about tooth removal is in fact not the removal itself but instead the fear of visiting a dentist.

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