Answering all your questions on tooth extractions


What is tooth extraction? 

Tooth extraction is the process of removing a bad tooth, by uprooting it from the gums.

Why does a tooth have to be extracted? 

  • You may be suffering from a badly decayed tooth. This might be causing infection in the surrounding areas and it’s only spreading. A tooth decay (dental caries) can occur due to several reasons and causes immense pain and impacts oral health. As per the World Health Organization (WHO),

“Dental caries results when microbial biofilm (plaque) formed on the tooth surface converts the free sugars contained in foods and drinks into acids that dissolve tooth enamel and dentine over time. With continued high intake of free sugars, inadequate exposure to fluoride and without regular microbial biofilm removable, tooth structures are destroyed, resulting in development of cavities and pain, impacts on oral-health-related quality of life, and, in the advanced stage, tooth loss and systemic infection.”

No dental procedure can heal a tooth that is too much infected or decayed and a dentist has to resort to tooth extraction to protect your overall health.

  • You may also have a misaligned tooth. Believe it or not, misaligned teeth can contribute to oral diseases. This is because when teeth are overcrowded, or when one tooth overlaps another, you can’t brush the entire surface area of your teeth, which is crucial for good oral health. When this misalignment is too severe and orthodontic treatment would take too long to cure it, a dentist has to resort to extracting the misaligned tooth/teeth.
  • You may even need a wisdom tooth removal. Most wisdom teeth come out badly and misaligned and cause a lot of pain. To relieve you of the excruciating pain, you have to get the wisdom tooth removed. This is the most common type of tooth extraction.
  • You may also get your tooth fractured, broken or chipped. This doesn’t go well with the aesthetics of your smile! Furthermore, an injured tooth can also lead to oral infection, which is all the more reason why you should get it extracted.

Regardless of why you have to extract your tooth, in most cases, restoration dentistry options like crowns, implants, bridges, etc. help in replacing the missing tooth.

How is a tooth extracted? 

How your tooth is extracted depends on the visibility of the tooth that is to be removed.

  • For a tooth that is properly visible in the mouth, the dentist would first give you a local or general anesthesia to ease you through the process. Forceps will be used to grab the tooth and it will be rocked back and forth, gently. A few cuts in the surrounding gums may also be required to loosen the tooth until the tooth can be easily uprooted.
  • For a tooth that is not properly visible in the mouth, the dentist would have to resort to the incision. A surgical flap is created in the gum and then the extraction process follows.

Does tooth extraction hurt? 

The tooth extraction process is not likely to hurt you. This is because you would be given local or general anesthesia before the extraction process. You’d be experiencing some pain after the effects of the anesthesia are over. However, the pain is tolerable and over-the-counter pain killers like Ibuprofen would perfectly help you cope with it.

Aftercare for tooth extraction

  • Avoid smoking and drinking
  • Avoid spitting or sneezing for a couple of days post-extraction.
  • Use your medications as prescribed. Do not skip your painkillers and neither should you opt for those other than what is prescribed without prior consultation with your dentist.
  • Avoid solid food for the first few days.
  • Rinse your mouth at night with salt water, but only after 24 hours from the tooth extraction.

There might be a clot in the socket of the extracted tooth. It’s best for you to leave it undisturbed as much as possible. If it breaks loose, you’d be going through an unimaginable amount of pain. That being said, tooth extraction is a complex dental procedure and must be done by an experienced dentist. If you’re in New Lenox IL, choose the best dentist for tooth extraction!