While our goal is always to save your natural tooth, sometimes an extraction is the safest treatment for serious dental problems. Sometimes your teeth become too damaged to save or need to be removed to save the teeth around it. Extraction is the removal of the natural tooth, which can help eliminate pain, discomfort, and infection. The extracted tooth is then replaced by a bridge, dental implant, or denture. The experts at Lovett Dental Baytown provide compassionate and competent treatment every step of the way.
Signs You Need a Tooth Extraction
Your dentist might recommend an extraction when less invasive procedures are not an option. That means that if your dentist can’t fix your tooth with dental fillings and sealants, a root canal, a crown, or other treatment, he or she will typically recommend having the tooth pulled. Signs that you may need to see a dentist and discuss extraction include:
- Dental pain
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Broken teeth
- Facial swelling
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Loss of feeling in the tooth
Severe dental decay, impactions, advanced gum disease, overcrowding, and trauma commonly lead to extractions. When any of these signs appear, it’s vital that individuals make an appointment to see their dentist. The longer these signs are ignored, the more damage is done not just to the tooth but to other teeth as well.
What to Expect During a Tooth Extraction
It’s common to feel worried about tooth extraction, but our team at Lovett Dental Baytown provides a safe and pain-free experience.
Before your extraction, the dentist will examine your tooth. Your dentist will take X-rays and begin planning your treatment. Your dentist will share all treatment options with you and won’t recommend extraction unless it’s the best option. If extraction is recommended, our staff will help you schedule an appointment before you leave. Your dentist most likely will not perform the extraction on the same day as the exam. In some cases, you will need to take an antibiotic or stop certain medications before the extraction appointment.
When you arrive for your extraction, the dental assistant will ensure you’re comfortable and prep you for the procedure. Because you’ll need an injection, he or she will apply topical anesthesia to numb the area and keep you comfortable.
Then, the dentist will administer local anesthesia and take care of the extraction. The topical anesthesia applied earlier makes this process almost painless. Once the anesthesia is administered, your dentist will wait until you’re completely numb before beginning the procedure.
Recovering from Teeth Extractions
Following your appointment, you’ll need time to heal. It’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions to avoid complications. Do not smoke while you are recovering from a tooth extraction under any circumstances. Once the site has healed, your dentist can begin the process of replacement. Common replacement options include dentures, crowns and bridges, and dental implants.
How to Prevent Tooth Extractions
As expected, many patients ask how they can prevent tooth removal or loss. While tooth loss is sometimes unavoidable, you can take steps to reduce your risk greatly:
- Schedule a preventive dental visit every six months.
- Brush your teeth, floss, and rinse with mouthwash twice daily.
- Avoiding drinking soda and other sugary or acidic beverages. If you elect to drink beverages like this, drink them quickly rather than sipping them throughout the day.
- Don’t start smoking. If you do smoke, now is the time to quit.
- Wear the appropriate mouth gear when playing contact sports.