Health

When to opt for a full tooth extraction   

In general, dental professionals suggest every possible alternative to losing a tooth. Losing teeth can have a significant impact on your daily life, which is why preventing tooth loss should be considered a mandatory pre-emptive measure. However, there are scenarios where a full extraction may be the best option to maintain your oral health.

In 2018, most Canadians have seen a dental professional (74.7 per cent), while 22.4 per cent avoided going at least once due to cost. 

What is a tooth extraction?

Tooth extraction is a dental procedure where your tooth is completely removed from its socket. This procedure is also referred to as “pulling” a tooth. 

When is a tooth extraction necessary?

Dental healthcare providers tend to try and save natural teeth whenever possible. However, sometimes other restorative methods such as fillings or crowns aren’t enough. In the case where your tooth has been very severely damaged past the point of repair, then removal may be necessary. In the case where your teeth are severely decayed, or if you are suffering from advanced periodontal disease or chronic gum infection, you may need a full extraction. 

You may also need an extraction when: 

  • Tooth fracture
  • Impacted tooth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Tooth luxation

Who performs a tooth extraction?

Dentists and other dental specialists such as oral surgeons and periodontists are able to perform tooth extractions. In general, dentists perform plenty of extractions, however, in some complex cases, they may be referred to surgeons and periodontists. 

This Bradford dentist offers a range of  services, including extractions, crowns and other alternative procedures. 

What happens before an extraction?

Your dental professional will assess the tooth in question and the surrounding gums before taking dental x-rays to check bone levels to determine the extent of the damage. It’s important to inform your dentist about any medications or supplements you’re taking before discussing sedation method options. 

Sedation options available in dentistry

There are many sedation options are available during tooth extractions and other dental procedures to ensure the patient’s comfort. Sedation is excellent when individuals have dental anxiety or those who simply want to be more comfortable during the procedure.

  • Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is administered through a mask or nosepiece. It’s considered a light level of sedation, and those who undergo it can drive themselves to and from their own appointments. 
  • Oral conscious sedation is an oral sedative administered usually in pill form, typically an hour before your appointment. Common medications used for this method range from diazepam, triazolam, lorazepam, etc. This method can be used on its own or with nitrous oxide sedation, with dosages being adjusted to your needs. This option allows the patient remains conscious but will need someone to drive them home. 
  • IV sedation is recommended for people with significant dental anxiety. Sedative and pain medications, such as midazolam and meperidine are delivered directly to a patient’s bloodstream using an IV. It is the highest level of sedation available. These options require options to be driven home. 

What does the extraction process entail?

After local anesthesia is given to numb the affected area and the gum tissue. Using specialized instruments, your dentist will gently loosen the tooth and lift it from the socket. Sometimes, a dentist might need to make incisions in your gums to remove the tooth, especially if the tooth is badly decayed or broken off the gumline. Once the tooth is removed, the socket is cleaned and disinfected. 

What happens post-extraction?

Once the procedure is over, the dentist will place a piece of gauze over the extraction site and ask the patient to apply pressure to stem any bleeding. This also allows the site to clot, which is an essential aspect of healing. Once the bleeding has slowed enough, you can remove the gauze. However, it is not abnormal to continue to have light bleeding through the first 24 hours. Over-the-counter pain killers such as ibuprofen in lighter cases while prescriptions may be offered when greater surgery is needed.