We all remember waiting for the tooth fairy to come visit in the middle of the night to reward us for losing a tooth. When you are a child, losing a tooth is a rite of passage but tooth loss as an adult is hardly reason for celebration.
There are several reasons why a dentist may opt to pull a tooth. If you are planning to undergo orthodontic treatment, a dentist may choose to pull teeth due to overcrowding in the mouth. The goal of orthodontia is to properly align your teeth for both aesthetic and health purposes. Dental extraction can aid in the process if teeth are too large or if a tooth cannot break through the gum line.
One of the most common reasons for dental extraction is if a tooth is infected. This can occur as a result of tooth decay that extends to the pulp of the tooth. Bacteria in the mouth can infiltrate the pulp and blood vessels leading to infection. The options for advanced tooth decay are to either undergo a root canal procedure or, if the infection has progressed, to pull the tooth entirely.
When visiting the dentist for a tooth extraction procedure your physician will give you an injection of local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. If you are having multiple teeth extracted your dentist may give you a strong general anesthetic, this will prevent any pain throughout the body and put you “under” during the procedure.
Next, your dentist will cut away the gum and bone tissue then pull the tooth using forceps. Once the tooth has been extracted blood clotting will occur which your dentist will suppress by packing a gauze pad into the socket.
Following the procedure your mouth will remain numb for a couple of hours and it is advised that you avoid solid food for a couple of days.