Sometimes, there is simply no way to save a tooth and it must be extracted. There are quite a few different situations that may require extraction. For instance, if a tooth is damaged beyond repair, it may need to be pulled. Sometimes people are born with too many teeth. In these situations, removing extra teeth can help create more room in the mouth to prevent problems with overcrowding. Another common reason people need to have a tooth extracted is due to infection. Fortunately, when you work with a knowledgeable Fairhope, AL dentist like Dr. Phillip Greer of Sweet Water Dentistry, you will get the information you need to determine whether or not you need to have your tooth pulled.
When it comes to tooth extractions, there are two basic types: simple extractions and surgical extractions. With a simple extraction, the procedure is performed at the dentist's office. The process involves first loosening the gums that surround the tooth with the use of a tool known as an elevator. After the gums have been loosened, the dentist grasps the tooth with a pair of specialized forceps and simply pulls it out.
With surgical extractions, the dentist first cuts into the gum. Once the initial incision has been made, the tooth is then cut into smaller pieces and removed. There is usually no pain associated with either type of procedure. Most patients report only feeling a slight amount of pressure as the tooth is extracted.
After the extraction is complete, you will need to care for the area to ensure that it heals properly. A small percentage of extractions result in a condition known as dry socket. This painful condition occurs when the blood doesn't clot the way that it should or the clot comes loose. As a result, air and food particles can come in contact with the jawbone, resulting in extreme pain. There is a higher risk of developing dry socket if the extraction is complicated. Certain behaviors such as smoking cigarettes or sucking on a straw can also result in a dry socket. Fortunately, if you do develop a dry socket, there are treatments that can be used to minimize the pain. For more information on tooth extractions or to schedule an appointment to discuss your concerns, don't hesitate to reach out to your Fairhope, AL dentist today.