There are many reasons why you may need to have a tooth taken out. When tooth decay, infection or an injury is too severe, your tooth may simply be too damaged to repair. Your wisdom teeth may also require extraction as they can cause overcrowding, as well as gum problems. In these cases, a tooth extraction may be necessary.
Your dentist will always try to save your tooth if that is the best option for your dental health, but there are many reasons why you may need a tooth to be taken out, including:
There are two types of tooth extraction you could be offered, and your dentist will be able to advise you on what will work best for you. A simple extraction, as the name suggests, refers to the procedure of removing a tooth that is still visible above the gum line. When the tooth can be seen, your dentist will easily be able to extract it using non-surgical tools.
However, if a tooth has been forced or pushed into the gum, or broken at the gumline, either because of trauma to your mouth or as a result of severe overcrowding, could become hidden under your gum surface. Wisdom teeth can also become embedded in your gums, causing discomfort and affecting your chewing ability. In these situations, your dentist will need to make a surgical cut in your gum tissue to remove the tooth which is causing you problems.
To prepare you for your tooth extraction, your dentist will carry out a full consultation including taking an x-ray so they can plan the best way to carry out a dental extraction with minimum discomfort. This will check the relationship between the tooth to be removed with the other teeth in your jaw as well as looking at precisely where your major nerves are positioned. They will also take into account the type of teeth to be removed as a molar extraction could need a slightly different procedure to a front tooth, for example.
It may be that your dentist advises a prescription of antibiotics before and after the tooth extraction procedure if you have a tooth infection. Simple extractions are generally done using a local anaesthetic to numb the area, which may be combined with other medication to help you relax. If you need to have a surgical extraction, you will receive a local anaesthetic in the same way, but you may also receive anaesthesia intravenously. Some people, including patients who are very anxious, young children or those who have certain medical or behavioural conditions, may need a general anaesthetic.
Depending on why you are having an extraction, it is likely that you will be offered further dental treatment. An extraction may be carried out because you are preparing for orthodontic work, for example. Or, if you have been left with a gap in your mouth as a result of removal as a result of damage or decay, your dentist will be able to talk to you about having restorative work such as an implant, a bridge or a denture to replace your lost tooth. If you are undergoing a molar tooth extraction, this is not likely to be necessary.
To promote speedy tooth extraction healing, it is best to avoid any hot foods or beverages for a few days as well as drinking through a straw. If you are feeling any discomfort following your extraction, you can manage this with over-the-counter painkillers to help with your tooth extraction care. Within a few days, you should start to feel better as the site of your extraction heals.
This will prepare you for your further dental treatments to restore and improve the function of your teeth, and your smile.