Nobody wants to get a tooth extracted, but it may be necessary to prevent pain, infection, or further complications. Before you head to the dentist, however, know what you’re about to get yourself into and learn these five common terms regarding tooth extraction and tooth replacement.
1. Simple Extraction
If your tooth fully erupts, a simple extraction is recommended. With a simple extraction, no incisions need to be made. Using special tools, the dentist widens the tooth socket and removes the tooth from the ligaments, which hold it in place. Without the ligaments to hold it, the tooth usually comes right out.
In some cases, however, surgical tooth extraction is needed. This may be required if the tooth isn’t fully erupted, such as an impacted wisdom tooth. It can also happen if the tooth has so much decay that there isn’t enough healthy tooth tissue above the gum line.
You may be worried about getting a tooth pulled because it can sound painful. Of course, the area is fully numb during the procedure, but that may not calm your nerves. For this reason, you should ask your dentist about sedation.
The most common form of sedation is inhalation sedation, which uses a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. You will still be aware of what is happening, but you won’t care as much because of the relaxing properties. Once you stop inhaling the mixture, you should quickly rouse from sedation.
3. Dry Socket
A dry socket is one of the biggest dangers after getting your tooth pulled. When a tooth is pulled, it leaves a hole that exposes the jawbone. Luckily, a blood clot quickly forms to act as a protective barrier. Eventually, this blood clot heals into the regular gum tissue.
During the healing process, however, the blood clot can get dislodged. This usually happens because you accidentally suck the blood clot out of the socket, possibly when you use a straw or smoke. Dry socket is extremely painful, and you’ll need a trip to the dentist to have the socket packed with a medicated dressing to stop the pain and potential infection.
After you get a tooth pulled, you probably want an option to replace it. Some people choose partial dentures because of their affordability, while others prefer a bridge, which can’t be removed. However, implants are another option to consider.
Implants use an artificial titanium root, which fuses to the jawbone to mimic the strength of teeth ligaments. Once the area is healed, a crown is placed on top to replace the missing tooth. Implants are the only tooth-replacement option that uses the jawbone for support.
5. Bone Graft
It’s your mouth, so it’s up to you if you want to replace an extracted tooth. However, having a missing tooth can make it difficult to eat and speak. While a dental bridge is a good way to replace a missing tooth, more and more people choose dental implants because of their great durability.
The downside, however, is that you need a strong jawbone to support the implant, and missing teeth cause the jawbone to shrink. Therefore, unless you get the implant immediately, you may need a bone graft. A bone graft uses bone from another part of your body or synthetic bone to promote growth.
Tooth extraction may be the only way to save the health of your mouth. Luckily, there are tooth-replacement options, such as dental implants. If you would like to know more about tooth extraction, or if you need to schedule an appointment, contact us at Family Dental Center today.