In some cases, pulling a tooth is done to prevent more serious damage from a developing or emerging tooth, such as in the case of an impacted wisdom tooth, or when a primary (baby) tooth simply refuses to fall out on its own, hindering the emergence of secondary (adult) teeth. Pulling a tooth may also become necessary when teeth are damaged beyond repair, either through injury or decay. Dental extraction can prevent further damage, eliminate discomfort and help ensure the surrounding teeth and gums remain healthy. Finally, when teeth are overcrowded, tooth removal may be necessary to allow orthodontic care such as Invisalign™ to realign teeth so they’re straight and evenly spaced.
At the beginning of the procedure, your gum will be injected with a local anesthetic to numb the area so you won’t feel pain when the tooth is removed. In some cases, your dentist may recommend taking a pain reliever 30 minutes or so before the procedure so it will be in effect once the procedure is over. If your tooth is impacted or if you’re having several teeth removed, your dentist may use a general anesthetic so you can sleep through the procedure.
When a tooth is impacted, the gum surrounding the tooth will need to be cut back to allow access. Next, the tooth will be grasped with a special instrument designed for extractions and then rocked back and forth to ease it out. In some cases, a stubborn tooth may need to be removed in pieces.
Once the tooth is removed, the dentist will pack the area with gauze. A blood clot will form at the extraction site which helps protect the underlying nerves and prevent bacteria from entering. In some cases, the dentist may need to use a few stitches to keep the area closed before putting the gauze in place. After your procedure, you’ll be given specific instructions on how to care for the area during healing and whether you'll need a follow-up visit.
Having a tooth extracted can be an important proactive step in helping you have a healthier mouth. If you have questions about your teeth and gums or if you need to schedule a checkup, call our office today at (260) 484-4181 or schedule an appointment online.