What Is a Tooth Extraction and Why Would I Need One?
A tooth extraction is when a tooth is pulled completely out, including its root. A dentist or dental surgeon will pull the tooth with forceps.
Tooth extractions are most commonly needed to remove wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the third molar on both sides of your upper and lower jaw. Not everyone has all their wisdom teeth grow in, and not everyone needs them extracted.
However, if your wisdom teeth are causing crowding in your mouth, if they’re impacted or have tooth decay, the best solution is to remove them completely. Because they are set so far back in your mouth, it’s often very difficult to reach them when brushing, which leaves them vulnerable to decay, and because the mouth often isn’t big enough to accommodate them, they can easily become impacted.
Reduction of Discomfort | When you have issues with your wisdom teeth, there tends to be a lot of discomfort. Once the tooth is removed (and healed), that discomfort may be soothed. You won’t be distracted by tooth pain once the source of your symptoms has been removed.
Chewing | Some people find it hard to chew with their wisdom teeth, without biting their cheeks or aggravating surrounding gum tissue. Once removed (and healed), eating should be more comfortable.
Better Oral Hygiene | It can be hard to brush and floss the third molars because they are set so far back in your jaw. Once extracted (and healed), it should be easier to properly brush and floss all of your teeth.
What Should I Know?
- You May Need an Anesthetic. If it’s a simple extraction, a local anesthetic should work fine. If surgery is needed, a general anesthetic will likely be the best course of action.
- You May Need Stitches. If your tooth is impacted and the surgeon needs to cut away the gum, stitches could be used. These stitches are usually self-dissolving.
- This Blood Clot is Good. When the tooth is removed, blood will clot in the socket. It’s important to keep pressure on the area with moist gauze in order to help the clot form.
- No Straws. Anything that causes suction in your mouth can loosen the blood clot. If you lose the blood clot, the bone is exposed in the socket. This condition is called dry socket and can cause you high amounts of discomfort.