The phrase “it’s like pulling teeth” is frequently used as a way describe something that is very hard to do or enduring a situation that is unpleasant. Trying to get your three year old to eat his broccoli? It’s like pulling teeth! Fighting rush hour traffic? It’s like pulling teeth! Indeed, before modern medicine, pulling teeth was a very painful and complicated process that actually required a lot of muscle and moxie from the tooth-puller and patient alike!
But today’s improved dental processes, tools and technologies mean that tooth extraction doesn’t have to be painful or cause fear or anxiety. Routine visits to the dentist can help your oral care provider keep an eye on your overall oral health and be aware of any issues you may be facing. Your dentist will determine if tooth extraction is necessary. Common causes include shifting teeth, a tooth that is too damaged to be repaired, baby teeth that will not fall out and impacted wisdom teeth. In younger children and teens, teeth may also be removed due to crowding in order to create more room in the mouth for other teeth.
There are two kinds of tooth extraction: simple extraction and surgical extraction. Both procedures are simple and fairly routine, but surgical extraction is a little more complicated because it is reserved for teeth that have not yet broken through the gum line. Surgical extraction requires that a small slit be made in the gum to access the tooth.
Simple extraction and surgical extraction require the surgeon to numb the area surrounding the tooth with a dental injection. The numbing will affect the tooth, your jaw and the gum area surrounding the tooth. While many have anxiety about the discomfort that this injection might cause, many providers now use the DentalVibe tool to eliminate the pain from this numbing shot, completely eliminating the discomfort from this part of the process. During tooth extraction, you should never feel pain, but it is common to feel some pulling and pressure. Your dentist or oral surgeon will “wiggle” the tooth to loosen it for removal.
Following your procedure, you may have a small amount of bleeding from the extraction site. Anti-inflammatory medications can help decrease any discomfort you may experience, and enjoying soft foods for a few days will help, as well. Your dentist or oral surgeon will provide you with a complete list of instructions and facts that will help you as you heal and recover. Depending on the number of teeth removed and the type of extraction performed, extraction sites can heal in as few as two weeks.
Today, many dentists and oral surgeons are offering the latest technologies and advanced methods to ensure patients the most pain-free and anxiety-free oral care experience possible. You can even suggest new technologies to your favorite dentist if they don’t already have them in place. It is important to utilize a dental health care provider whose treatment philosophy will ensure patient comfort and thorough care. Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be “like pulling teeth”. Complete oral care and pain-free tooth extraction is possible…and it’s probably easier than getting your three year old to eat his broccoli or fighting that rush hour traffic!
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