We are firm believers in saving your natural teeth for as long as possible at our dental practice. We only extract teeth as a last resort and will always try and keep your teeth.
In some instances, a tooth may be too far decayed that we cannot save, and this is when we would look at extracting the teeth.
Preventative dentistry is a meaningful stance to take when looking after your teeth. By following a pro-active approach to cleaning your teeth regularly, you will be in control of protecting your teeth for longer. Also, visiting your dentist and attending dental hygiene sessions will further increase the chances of protecting your teeth for longer. The dental check-up will help us examine your mouth thoroughly and spot any early dental complications that may develop. Early detection can mean the difference between a saved tooth and an extracted one.
Good oral hygiene is paramount for the longevity of our teeth. Likewise, with the dental hygiene visits, the main benefit of attending these appointments is to give your teeth a thorough clean and tackle any stubborn build-ups of plaque and tartar (which attack our teeth).
What Happens If My Tooth Can’t Be Saved?
In these instances, we will have to extract the tooth. Beforehand, we will discuss the tooth replacement options to decide which option suits you best for aftercare.
How Is a Tooth Extracted?
The first step is to prepare for the extraction. You must fill out your medical history with all the correct information (including over the counter medication). Our trained staff will take an x-ray of the area, and in the cases of wisdom tooth removal, they may take a panoramic x-ray.
We have treated many nervous patients and encourage you to let us know if you are a bit worried about your treatment. We will carefully numb the area surrounding the tooth, and we will use an elevator (dental tool) to loosen the tooth and then remove it with forceps. We will always work at a slow pace to suit our patients, and we will explain what we are doing so you are comfortable and happy.
A panoramic x-ray is helpful to take for wisdom teeth removal, as it will show all of your teeth and other useful information to guide us in the extraction:
- Relationship between the wisdom tooth and surrounding teeth
- Where your sinuses are in relation to the upper teeth
- Where the nerve is in the lower jaw (controlling the feeling for your lower jaw, teeth, lip and chin)
- If there are infections, bone disease or tumours that may be present
Depending on your exact situation, you may be prescribed antibiotics before or after the treatment (if an infection was present, you have a weakened immune system, your medical history dictates it is necessary etc.)
Our Dental Nurse will give post-operative instructions after your treatment is completed. You can expect some discomfort around the extraction site afterwards. We will place gauze and light pressure to help the site clot up. There will be some blood for around 24 hours after the procedure, but this will taper off. Try not to disturb the area with your tongue, delaying the healing process.
We recommend a softer diet until you feel entirely comfortable eating. Also, colder foods will be helpful as well.
Keep the extraction site clean, and rinse warm salt water in your mouth to help kill bacteria from the mouth and aid the healing of this site.
For 72 hours after the treatment, do not smoke, as this can cause the blood clot to open. Also, do not use a straw or spit as these actions can also cause the wound to reopen.
Tooth Replacement Options
We can offer a variety of different options to replace missing teeth, and we will be happy to discuss this in more detail with you:
- Dental crowns
- Dental bridges
- Dental Implants (available at our sister practice)
- Partial/Complete dentures
It is essential before you have an extraction that you consider your options. Having a missing tooth will immediately affect the aesthetics of your smile (depending on where the tooth was). It will also impact the functionality of your teeth when you are eating. The more missing teeth you have, the harder your jaw and gums will have to work to chew up the food so you’re able to swallow it quickly. Over time this can lead to sore gums and, in more severe cases, TMD joint problems (from overworking the associated muscle groups).
Book Your Dental Assessment Today
If you are worried that you have a tooth that may need extracting or haven’t had your teeth checked in a while, please do not hesitate to call us and book your dental assessment today.