Removing a tooth is only recommended when alternative treatment options have been ruled out. While a dental extraction can often provide the patient with immediate relief from tooth pain and the progression of decay, it does have certain downsides. If you fail to replace an extracted tooth, it could affect your appearance, your ability to effectively eat, and alter the alignment of your teeth and bite.
So how do you know if a dental extraction is really necessary? The first step involves visiting a dentist. Largo FL is home to Bonham Dental Arts, a reputable dental practice that offers family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and sedation dentistry to patients of all ages. Once you find a dentist and undergo a thorough exam, you can discuss whether or not a dental extraction is necessary and what alternative treatments are available.
When Is Dental Extraction Necessary?
Pain and infection do not always mean that your tooth needs to be extracted. Your dentist will consider a number of factors when considering whether to recommend a dental extraction, such as the severity of the damage to your tooth, the amount of disease or infection, and the likelihood of an alternative treatment saving your tooth.
There are certain situations in which a tooth cannot be saved. If this happens to you, know that there are replacement options like dental implants. We may also recommend other options, such as a fixed bridge or partial denture. Some of the most common reasons that a dentist may recommend a dental extraction include:
- Severe Damage to the Tooth: If your tooth has been severely damaged by trauma (e.g. a hit to the mouth) or disease (e.g. advanced tooth decay), it may not be possible to repair the damage and extraction may be the only solution.
- Disease or Infection: If tooth damage is left unchecked, disease and/or infection may take hold. Some infections do not respond to antibiotics and to stop the spread of harmful bacteria, the tooth may need to be removed.
- Overcrowding or Impaction: If your mouth is overcrowded, an extraction may be needed to allow other teeth to grow in properly. Impacted teeth can be painful and negatively impact your bite and chewing ability.
There are several red flags that could indicate the need for dental extraction. This includes severe tooth pain, jaw stiffness or pain, pain that worsens when chewing or with pressure, presence of gum disease, and swollen gums around the tooth.
What Happens During a Dental Extraction?
If you have never had a tooth extracted, you may be nervous about the procedure. Tooth extractions are routine procedures that can be accomplished quickly and nearly pain-free. Tooth extractions are typically an outpatient procedure. While most dental extractions are referred to as “simple,” some patients may need to undergo a surgical procedure to have one or more teeth safely removed.
Simple tooth extractions involve removing a tooth that is visible in the mouth. This may include decayed or badly damaged teeth. Before the procedure, you will receive local anesthesia or in some cases, conscious sedation. Over-the-counter medications are usually sufficient for pain management. If you require surgery, a surgeon will remove teeth that are not visible in the mouth. This may include impacted teeth that are stuck in the jaw or have broken off. Some individuals with certain medical conditions may require general anesthesia during the surgery.
After the tooth has been removed, your dentist will provide you with oral care instructions to aid in your recovery. Limiting your diet to liquids and soft foods in the days following the procedure can help keep discomfort to a minimum and help speed up recovery. You will also need to avoid brushing your teeth near the affected area for at least a day to prevent disrupting the extraction site.
Learn More About Dental Extractions
Making the decision to extract a problem-some tooth is never easy. However, dental extraction may be the best solution based on the unique circumstances of your case. If you are questioning whether you need a dental extraction, contact the dental experts at Bonham Dental Arts in today and schedule your appointment with a team of trusted professionals.