In some cases, teeth are removed simply to make way for other teeth, and to avoid complications with new teeth coming in. This is the case when wisdom teeth are removed, but there are certainly many other reasons why teeth might need to be extracted for adults. It might be necessary to remove a specific tooth because crowding in the mouth has occurred, and it has become necessary to relieve all the stress from crowded teeth.
It’s also possible that a tooth might become badly infected or that it might have a severe case of tooth decay, and trying to preserve the tooth would not be worthwhile. It sometimes becomes necessary for people who are wearing braces to have one or more teeth removed, so that other teeth can properly be shifted into the right position.
Having a tooth extracted is a fairly routine process, and can always be performed on an outpatient basis, usually under local anesthesia. Teeth which are plainly visible can generally be extracted without much difficulty, but the process becomes much more complicated for teeth that are situated below the surface. The same is true for teeth which are broken or impacted.
The first step before performing a tooth extraction is to conduct an x-ray of the affected tooth. This will tell your dentist the exact status of the tooth, and should provide a clear indication of what will be necessary for extraction. Prior to the extraction itself, you should inform your dentist about any medications you may be using at the time. You should also let your dentist know if you are diabetic, if you suffer from liver, thyroid, or renal diseases, or if you have any congenital heart defects.
If you have damaged heart valves, an impaired immune system, or if you suffer from hypertension, these are all things that you should likewise inform your dentist about. Depending on whether your tooth is plainly visible or has become impacted, your specific tooth extraction might be a simple process, or it might require surgery.
In the simpler version of tooth extraction, you will be administered a local anesthetic that will cause the area around your tooth to become numb, so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. You will definitely feel some pressure applied to the area, because your dentist will use an elevator instrument to loosen the tooth, and then forceps to physically remove it. However the pressure that you feel will not be uncomfortable, and it will not cause you any pain.
If it’s necessary to perform the surgical extraction of your tooth because it’s below the gum line, you will likely be given a local anesthetic as well as intravenous anesthesia, to help keep you calm during the procedure. It’s also possible that you might be administered a general anesthetic, if your dentist anticipates a complicated procedure.
In such a case, you will be unconscious for the duration of the procedure, and will wake up upon completion of the tooth extraction. During surgical extraction, it will be necessary for your dentist or oral surgeon to make a small incision in your gum. It might also be necessary to remove a certain amount of bone surrounding the tooth, prior to its extraction.
Generally speaking, there are relatively few complications which might arise from performing a tooth extraction. In virtually all cases, the benefits of performing the tooth extraction far outweigh any risk of minor complications which might occur. It is perfectly natural for a blood clot to form in the socket where a tooth has been extracted. This is an anticipated occurrence, and it actually protects the bone inside the socket, so it’s a good thing.
However, in some cases this blood clot does not form, or it may become dislodged, and in that case it will be necessary to protect the area by applying a sedative dressing over it. This will need to be in place for a period of several days, and during this time it’s likely that a new blood clot will form for additional protection. It’s possible, although unlikely, that bleeding can persist in the area where extraction has been performed for more than 12 hours.
If this occurs, it must be reported immediately to your dentist. In the aftermath of an extraction, you might have a cough or you might experience nausea and vomiting, or possibly chest pain and shortness of breath. You might also notice swelling and redness near the site where surgery was performed, and this is normal as long as it doesn’t persist.
Some patients have developed severe chills and fever, which is a sign that an infection has occurred, and this will need to be reported to your dentist so that it can be treated. If any of the complications mentioned above should occur to you after undergoing a tooth extraction, you should report them to your dentist so that he/she can evaluate the situation, and perform treatment if necessary.
It generally only takes a few days to experience complete recovery after any tooth extraction. In order to assist the recovery process, there are some things you can do to promote healing. First of all, you can apply an ice pack directly to the cheek where an extraction has been performed, in increments of 10 minutes.
Once the dentist has completed the tooth extraction and has placed gauze over the surgery site, it’s a good idea for you to bite down on that area to promote the formation of a clot and to reduce bleeding. The gauze should be left in place for as long as four hours, or until it becomes saturated with blood.
It may be necessary for you to take painkillers prescribed by your doctor, or to purchase over-the-counter painkillers to relieve any discomfort you feel. For the 24-hour period following a tooth extraction, you should make sure to get lots of rest, rather than quickly returning to your normal routine. It’s a good idea not to rinse your mouth out during that 24-hour period, and to not use a straw for a day or two.
When you’re brushing or flossing, you should avoid the tooth extraction site so it does not get disturbed. You should limit yourself to soft foods for the day after your tooth extraction, and then you can gradually introduce other foods after that first day. Rinsing out your mouth is a good idea also, and you can do this by adding a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. Then you should swish it around your whole mouth before gently spitting it out.
The cost for any tooth extraction will generally depend on whether the tooth is visible, or whether it has become impacted. If a simple extraction is all that’s needed, that will probably cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $75 – $200 per tooth, although that figure can rise with the cost of anesthesia. When it’s necessary to perform surgery to remove an impacted tooth, that can cost anywhere from $800 – $4000, and this figure can also rise in accordance with whatever anesthesia is necessary.
Wisdom teeth usually begin to appear in the late teens and early twenties. When the teeth begin to appear, the gums and soft tissue near them may become sore and inflamed. As the top of the tooth begins to cut through the gum, bleeding may occur. If the tooth continues to cut the tissue, infection may become a problem. When the wisdom teeth begin to emerge, they may put pressure on the teeth that lie next to them. The dentist may choose to remove them before they have a chance to fully erupt, which can prevent other teeth from being moved or damaged as the wisdom teeth try to push through.
An impaction occurs when a wisdom tooth comes in sideways or at an angle where its upward motion is halted by the teeth that lie next to it. An impacted tooth can be extremely painful and if not taken care of in a timely fashion, may cause the tooth it is lying against to be broken or damaged. If a tooth becomes impacted, it may not fully break the surface of the gum tissue. When this occurs, simply pulling the tooth is not an option. Instead, the dentist may have to perform a surgical procedure in which the gum is cut, the tooth is broken and then removed in pieces.
This will often depend on how much room is available and whether or not the teeth are impacted or wedged against the jaw bone. If there is sufficient room and the wisdom teeth have already broken the surface of the gums, the dentist may be able to pull them like any other tooth. If there is an impaction or restrictions on how much room is available, the dentist may sedate the patient, cut through the gum, and break the tooth into smaller pieces so it can be removed. If an incision is used, the doctor may close the resulting hole with one or two stitches.