“It’s like pulling teeth” is an idiom for a reason. Nobody wants to lose their teeth when they reach adulthood, but sometimes it is necessary to improve your smile and overall oral health.
There are several reasons why your dentist may choose to extract a tooth. Some are more serious to your health than others.
If you are planning to undergo orthodontic treatment, your dentist may pull teeth due to an overcrowded mouth. The purpose of orthodontics is to align your teeth for aesthetics and functionality. Straight teeth can improve respiratory function and chewing but sometimes teeth are too large or they cannot break through the gum line to properly perform orthodontic treatment.
One of the most common reasons for a dental extraction is if a tooth has become infected. This occurs as a result of tooth decay that has reached deep down to the pulp of the tooth. Sometimes an infection can be remedied with a root canal procedure but if the infection has progressed too far the tooth will have to be removed.
What to Expect
When you are having a tooth pulled your physician will anesthetize you using one of two methods. If you are only having one tooth pulled chances are your dentist will inject a local anesthetic to numb the area surrounding the tooth. If you are having multiple teeth pulled your dentist will probably prescribe a general anesthetic which puts the patient “under” during the procedure.
While anesthetized, your dentist will cut away the gum and bone tissue when remove the tooth using forceps. Once the tooth has been removed your dentist will stop blood clotting by packing gauze into the remaining socket.
Following the procedure your mouth may remain numb for a couple of hours. Avoid solid food for a couple days to stave off infection.