Understanding Tooth Extractions
There are several reasons for a tooth extraction. Sometimes a tooth can be so damaged that it cannot be repaired with either a filling or a dental crown. Another reason a tooth extraction may be necessary is when a patient has too many teeth and they have caused overcrowding. Finally, if the tooth is severely infected, it may be necessary to have the tooth pulled. Dr. Phillip Greer at Sweet Water Dentistry, our Fairhope, AL dentist, can help you determine if a tooth extraction is right for you.
Types of Tooth Extractions
Extractions can be either simple extractions or surgical extractions. Simple extractions are done in the dentist's office under local anesthesia. With this procedure, the gums are loosened around the affected tooth using an instrument called an elevator. Once the gums are loose, the dentist will use a set of forceps to clamp the tooth and remove it.
Most surgical extractions are done using general anesthesia. During a surgical extraction, the dentist makes a small incision in the gum. Then the tooth is cut and removed in pieces. No matter the method of extraction, you should feel no pain; however, you may feel slight pressure during the extraction.
Once your tooth is removed, you will be given instructions to help care for your gums, mouth and other teeth. Approximately 3 to 4 percent of extractions cause a dry socket. A dry socket occurs when the blood does not clot properly or it breaks down too quickly. This allows food and air to reach the jawbone, which causes severe oral pain.
The risk of dry socket increases in difficult extractions. Additionally, smoking or drinking through a straw can increase the risk of getting a dry socket. Luckily, the socket can be treated with a medicated dressing should you develop a dry socket.
If you have questions concerning dental extractions or have any of the symptoms listed above, contact Dr. Phillip Greer at Sweet Water Dentistry, your Fairhope, AL dentist today to schedule an appointment!