Nobody wants to have a tooth extraction, but sometimes there are health reasons why a tooth needs to be pulled.
If bacteria reach the pulp of the tooth (nerves and blood vessels), a serious infection can happen. Periodontal disease infects the gum tissues and bones that support the teeth, and you may experience loosening of the teeth or tooth.
A root canal and antibiotics can usually stop this infection. However, if the infection continues, the tooth may need to be removed to prevent the spread of the infection to other parts of the mouth and body.
People also have teeth extractions before getting braces in order to create enough room for the teeth to straighten out. Also, if a tooth cannot rise above the gum if (erupt) because there is not enough room in the mouth, a dentist may recommend pulling it.
Dentists and oral surgeons both perform tooth extractions. Before pulling the tooth, a dentist will give you an injection of a local painkiller to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. Sometimes in a difficult impacted case (more on that below), a dentist may use a strong general painkiller to make you sleep through the extraction.
If the tooth is impacted (beneath the gum), the dentist will cut away gum tissue, grab the tooth and gently rock it back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone. Sometimes, a tooth must be removed in pieces.
After the tooth extraction, a dentist will pack a gauze pad into the empty socket to help stop the bleeding. A dentist may use some self-dissolving stitches to stretch gum tissue over the empty socket where a natural blood clot should form.
Tooth extractions are usually very safe procedures, but If you have a medical condition that puts you at high risk a severe infection, you may need to take antibiotics before and after the extraction. Always tell your dentist about your medical history and medications you are taking.
After you've had your tooth pulled, the dentist may prescribe pain killers and antibiotics. The healing period can take one to two weeks as new bone and gum tissue will grow into the area where your tooth was.
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