Tooth extractions involve pulling damaged or unwanted teeth from their positions in the jawbone. Surgical tooth extraction is the most common surgery performed in the United States and has been known to cause anxiety in patients. Knowing the details surrounding the procedure and what to expect afterward may help calm any fear and prepare the…
Does Tooth Extraction Require Oral Surgery?
Tooth extraction can be a point of concern for many dental patients, but it can often be accomplished with a minor procedure. If a patient needs to have a tooth pulled, the dentist can discuss the state of the tooth and whether it can be removed by nonsurgical means. Avoiding surgery is always the preferable option if it is possible, but sometimes a minor surgical procedure is needed to extract a tooth.
Why would a patient need to have a tooth extracted?
A good dentist never rushes in for a tooth extraction; however, there are instances in which saving a tooth is impossible. If a dentist has decided to remove a patient’s tooth, it is likely for one of three reasons: The tooth has decayed beyond repair, there is too much crowding in the patient’s mouth, or there has been an injury or disease affecting the surrounding tissues.
How would the dentist remove the patient’s tooth?
If saving the patient’s tooth proves to be impossible, the dentist discusses with the patient the options for removing the tooth. The tooth may need to be removed surgically in certain cases, but often the procedure can be performed in-office with minimal equipment.
If the tooth in question is a small one close to the front of the patient’s mouth, or if it is a molar that can be easily seen and grabbed with forceps, it can likely be removed without surgery. During the extraction, the patient may feel pressure from the forceps as the dentist wiggles the tooth from side to side. The dentist rotates the tooth until it releases from the ligament that holds it in place.
A dentist typically possesses a series of differently sized and shaped forceps that can be used to move the tooth around in its socket. If a tooth breaks in half during the extraction process, this is not a cause for concern: It is actually common for a tooth extraction to occur in pieces.
A dentist may recommend the removal of a patient’s tooth by surgical means if the tooth is too large or the root is too deep, or if it is a wisdom tooth that has become impacted or infected. Wisdom teeth tend to grow in at an angle and frequently crowd the other molars or become stuck as they grow in. Though “surgery” is the term used when an incision is made in the gum line to remove a hidden tooth, it is a minimally invasive procedure and is quite common.
A simple tooth extraction is an ideal scenario, and in many cases a dentist is able to remove a patient’s tooth without going the surgical route. If the dentist proposes a surgical extraction, though, there is little reason to worry. This procedure can sound more invasive than it actually is, and if you follow the directions for healing, your smile will be back to normal in no time.
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