Tooth extraction can also be referred to as tooth removal. It is the process whereby a defected tooth causing pain is removed from the gum. Although many patients require a tooth extraction at one point or the other, few have adequate knowledge of what extraction is and how to go about it. So, this comprehensive guide has been written to help you decide whether you need an extraction or not.
Reasons for a Tooth Extraction
Before deciding on tooth extraction, your dentist would have considered several reasons. One of the reasons is if you have an impacted tooth. The extraction of such an impacted tooth prevents it from growing. That is why dentists advise that you remove your wisdom tooth. Another reason is to create room in your mouth for the proper alignment of your teeth. You also need a tooth extraction when your tooth is badly damaged or when the damaged tooth is impossible to restore.
Preparing for a Tooth Extraction
Before giving you a date for extraction, the dentist would have taken an x-ray of your teeth. Ensure you inform the dentist about your medications, over-the-counter drugs, supplements, and vitamins. Also, inform him about other medical conditions that require using an intravenous drug-like bisphosphonate. This will influence the dentist’s decision to perform the tooth extraction procedure before or after the drug treatment.
If you have any of the following health issues, you should also inform your dentist:
- History of bacterial endocarditis
- Impaired immune system
- Adrenal disease
- Damaged heart valves
- Artificial joint
- Renal disease
- Thyroid disease
- Liver disease
- Congenital heart defect
Your dentist will want your condition to be treated or stable before putting you through the tooth extraction process. However, he might prescribe some antibiotics to you if there is a specific medical condition, a weak immune system, an infection or if the surgery is expected to be long.
To ensure a good treatment, you should be mindful of the following factors on the tooth extraction day:
- Get someone to take you home if you are treated with general anesthesia.
- Inform your dentist of any signs of vomiting or nausea the night before the extraction. Your condition might require rescheduling or different anesthesia.
- Inform your dentist of your cold. You may require rescheduling.
- Do not smoke before the extraction.
- If you are treated with intravenous (IV) anesthesia, you should wear loose-fitted clothing or a short-sleeved shirt. Do not also drink or eat for 6 to 8 hours before the appointment.
Procedure for a Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction can either be surgical or simple. This depends on whether the tooth is impacted or visible.
You’ll likely be treated with intravenous and local anesthesia for a surgical extraction. The dentist may also administer general anesthesia to you, depending on your medical conditions. General anesthesia will make you unconscious during extraction.
To perform surgical extraction, the dentist will cut through your gum. He might need to remove a bone around the tooth or even cut the tooth to allow easy extraction.
The dentist will administer local anesthesia. This numbs the affected area, so you can only feel pressure, not pain, during the extraction. Then, the dentist will use an elevator to loosen the forceps and tooth.