When it comes to dental care, dental extractions are a common procedure that many patients may need at some point in their lives. AN extraction, or exodontia, is the removal of a tooth and its root from the mouth. It is usually recommended by a dentist when a tooth is damaged or decayed beyond repair, when there is a risk of infection, or when a tooth is preventing other teeth from growing properly. Teeth may also be extracted to make space for orthodontic treatment, for instance, in the case of overcrowded teeth.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A DENTAL EXTRACTION
Dental extractions are a common procedure performed by qualified dentists to help restore a patient’s oral health. The extraction process typically involves numbing the area around the tooth, loosening the tooth from the gum and bone, and then removing it. Depending on the severity of the extraction, the dentist may need to cut the gum or bone to make the procedure easier. Patients may experience some discomfort during the procedure, but the dentist will use anaesthesia to minimise any pain. After the extraction, the dentist will provide after-care instructions. These will include advice on how to manage the pain, such as taking painkillers, as well as instructions on how to care for the extraction site, such as avoiding hard foods and brushing gently. You may be asked to take some time to relax after an extraction treatment, typically 24 to 48 hours, to ensure that the extraction area is allowed to clot.
WHY WOULD I NEED AN EXTRACTION?
Extractions of impacted or problematic wisdom teeth are routinely performed by both dentists and oral surgeons. In some cases, a dental extraction may be the only way to restore a patient’s dental health. However, there are alternatives to extractions that a dentist may recommend. These include root canals, fillings, crowns, and bridges. Dentists will typically try to save an impacted tooth before considering extraction, as removing a tooth requires the gap left by that tooth to be filled with an artificial replacement and follow-up treatment. Dental extractions are most commonly recommended for adults, as children’s teeth are still developing and may not require an extraction. However, if a child’s tooth has been damaged or decayed beyond repair, an extraction may be the best option.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES TO EXTRACTION?
In cases where extraction is not the only option, there are alternatives to extractions that a dentist may recommend. These include root canals, fillings, crowns, and bridges. The primary alternative to a dental extraction is a root canal, which involves removing the damaged or decayed parts of the tooth and filling the cavity with a special material. Root canals are usually recommended when the tooth can still be saved, but may not be an option if the damage is too extensive. Each alternative to tooth extraction has its own advantages and disadvantages, and your dentist will discuss the best option for your unique situation.