Despite all efforts at preserving your natural teeth, it is sometimes necessary to have a tooth removed. Extractions of wisdom teeth in teenagers are the most common type of this procedure, but other teeth may need to be extracted if they are impacted, at an angle, causing pressure on other teeth, or leading to overcrowding in your mouth. If your tooth is severely decayed or broken, it may also need to be removed. It is best to have a damaged tooth removed than to let it cause further damage in your mouth.
Depending on the complexity of your issue and the extent of any damage to your tooth, you may need to find an oral surgeon to perform the extraction. Unless you have special circumstances association with your tooth's extraction, this is usually a straight-forward process that actually takes very little time. Your dentist will give you a local anesthetic to numb the area. The tooth is rocked back and forth, and then rotated in its socket for extraction. In some cases your dentist may need to break the tooth to make removal easier. A small piece of gauze in placed on the area which you will need to bite down on to cause pressure after the procedure.
After the procedure, your dentist may prescribe a pain medication or you may just be advised to take over-the-counter medications and apply ice to the area if you experience swelling. You may gently rinse your mouth with water but should avoid brushing around the extraction site. Avoid smoking and drinking through a straw for at least 24 hours. Your dentist will also advise you about foods and activity levels that are allowed. If you notice any unusual bleeding, swelling or pain during your recovery you should contact your dentist immediately for further advice. Your dentist may set a follow-up appointment to check on your recovery and determine the next step. Your individual situation may call for a dental implant, bridges or dentures to fill the space that has been created by removing the tooth.
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