Dental extraction (or having a tooth pulled) is sometimes necessary in dental care. And Mark C. Marchbanks, D.D.S., dentist in Arlington TX, is all about getting you the information you need to make informed decisions, so take a look at all the “what” and “whys” of tooth extraction we’ve composed below.
What is tooth extraction?
Tooth or dental extraction is performed by your dentist or oral surgeon as a quick, outpatient procedure. Depending on the nature of the extraction, either local, general or intravenous anesthesia can be used (or combined) for your comfort.
Teeth that are visible above the gums usually require a simple extraction. Teeth that are below the gums, impacted or broken usually require a surgical extraction.
When is a dental extraction needed?
Permanent teeth were meant to last a lifetime, but for millions of Americans every year that’s not how it pans out. Dental extractions are common, often becoming necessary due to:
- Trauma (like an accident)
- Serious decay on a given tooth
- A crowded mouth where one or more teeth need to be removed
- Wisdom teeth removal (especially when impacted)
- A serious tooth infection
- Or the risk of infection, such as when the immune system is compromised due to chemotherapy
At our Arlington office, we identify or consult patients on the need for dental extraction during regular oral exams.
Can you avoid tooth extraction?
Good oral hygiene plus coming into Mark C. Marchbanks D.D.S. for your cleanings every six months are the best ways to prevent a tooth extraction because they prevent the problems that lead to those extractions.
Oral exams are part of every regular cleaning and appointment at our office, which is how problems can be identified early. For example, regular x-rays can show when wisdom teeth are starting to come in, and whether they’re impacted. X-rays and oral exams also help us stay ahead of tooth decay before it becomes a serious infection.
What is recovery like after a tooth extraction?
When an extraction is necessary, it will be one of two different dental extraction procedures:
- Simple extraction
- Surgical extraction
Depending on what kind of extraction a patient needs, this will determine how long recovery takes. Simple procedures usually allow for tooth extraction healing within a week, whereas surgical extractions tend to leave patients with greater sensitivity for as long as two weeks.
Tooth extraction aftercare, no matter the procedure used, is essential to prevent further problems. For instance, it’s important to follow dentist recommendations on what to eat after a tooth extraction. Common guidelines suggest, among other soft, non-fibrous foods, these easy-to-eat and nutritious options:
- Fresh smoothies
- Soups and canned broths
- Mashed potatoes
After a tooth extraction, what comes next?
After a dental extraction and your full tooth extraction healing, in order to avoid shifting teeth, bone loss or other dental problems, it’s time to talk to us about dental restoration. Dental implants are the longest-lasting option for patients and help restore the natural feel to each patient’s smile and bite.
Learn more about all these topics on our dental blog or by contacting us with your specific questions.