Your dentist will focus their efforts at trying to preserve teeth. Natural teeth are still better than anything we can provide to replace them. However, despite our best efforts there are still times where we need to remove teeth:
When a tooth needs to be taken out it is routinely done with local anaesthetic in the practice. The procedure on a healthy tooth can often take less than a minute to perform and is pain free.
Some people do find the thought of having a tooth taken out more than they can face. Although people are rarely put to sleep for routine dental treatment these days, where needed your dentist can arrange for treatment to be provided with sedation to make the procedure easier to tolerate.
There are few conditions that prevent the routine removal of a tooth in the practice. You should never stop taking a routine medication for dental treatment unless specifically instructed to by your doctor or dentist. Your dentist will take a full medical history when they first see you and will notify you if there are any problems with the provision of routine care and arrange for alterative measures. If you do have concerns because of a specific problem then feel free to raise the issue with your dentist.
The removal of wisdom teeth is an area where dentistry has changed significantly over recent years. Not that long ago wisdom teeth used to be removed almost as soon as they arrived, but research has shown that few cause significant problems…and there can be complications caused by their removal including infection and nerve damage. Most problems caused by wisdom teeth an be treated by local measures and there are no adverse effects to their remaining in the mouth. Most significantly wisdom teeth do not push on the other teeth causing crowding, this is a natural growth tendency and happens the same in people who have no wisdom teeth.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) www.nice.org.uk and SHA, funded by the department of health, researched and published guidelines on when it is appropriate to remove a wisdom tooth, and these guidelines are applied across the UK:
When teeth are damaged due to injury, such as in sport or by accident; weak and fracture due to bone condition, poor calcium levels or stress from misaligned teeth (malocclusion); decayed due to infection in tooth root canals or gum disease; or are causing damage to other teeth and the mouth due to hereditary conditions like jaw irregularities or overcrowding from wisdom teeth; extraction may be necessary. In some cases where treatment, such as radiation, is needed for other health conditions, a tooth may have to be extracted to access the site for further treatment. Some cultures also have their own reasons and methods for extracting teeth.
Dentists always try to conserve existing natural teeth, but in incidences where teeth cannot be restored due to damage beyond salvage from either injury or gum diseases, such as Periodontal Disease, then a tooth should be extracted. Other cases of teeth overcrowding or wisdom teeth that can cause overcrowding give grounds for extracting a tooth. If you are concerned, our resident dentist can check your teeth to see if your teeth can be restored or if extraction is necessary. Dental guidance is recommended.
There is the pre-treatment stage, the actual treatment procedure and post-treatment care.
Initially, your dentist will discuss the whole procedure with you so that you know what to expect. Information will be taken about your current overall health condition and any prescribed medications that you take.Any anxieties can be addressed with relaxation techniques, such as sedative options or relaxation therapy. Your teeth will be cleaned and prepared for extraction. Then a local anaesthetic will be administered, and you have choices in how this can be done before extraction occurs.
The tooth area for extraction is numbed and then an elevator tool is used to carefully widen the size of the socket around your tooth as the dentist gently draws the tooth out of the socket with forceps. Sometimes an incision is made in the gum tissue to facilitate tooth removal.
As the anaesthetic wears off, there will be a feeling of discomfort in the mouth, particularly around the extraction site. Bleeding may occur during a fifteen minute interval after extraction, and the dentist will provide a cotton wool pad to bite on to for absorption until clotting occurs. If need be, the dentist will place a suture in the gum tissue to prevent further bleeding. Painkillers will be recommended to reduce any discomfort felt for a few days.There may be tenderness and swelling in the mouth. Gentle brushing around the extraction site is recommended with soft rinsing using warm salt water. The blood clot filling the extracted tooth site should not be burst because this can result in a very painful condition called dry socket. If you experience excessive pain, bleeding and high temperature contact your dentist immediately for treatment. More information regarding post-extraction care
A damaged tooth can spread infection, cause tooth decay or gum disease, or affect the overall tooth structure, oral form and bite that allows people to chew food, pronounce words, and smile naturally. Overall health can be impacted through disease originating as oral disease, but that spreads and affects the body causing migraines or heart disease. Lack of confidence from poor diet, speech impediments, and irregular facial form can manifest in mental health conditions. Treating teeth to avoid tooth loss or extraction is vital for oral and physical health, mental wellbeing and for financial reasons when health deterioration accumulates costs.
There are risks involved in tooth extraction, such as infection, dry socket or prolonged bleeding, and nerve damage. However, qualified dentists with experience are trained to deliver safe procedure in treatment. The harm from not seeking treatment for severely damaged, infected or overcrowded teeth is a far greater threat to dental and overall health, than any risks associated with dental treatment. Any risks will be discussed with you by our resident dentist who can also advise you about dental phobia and relaxation methods.
You can prevent the need for tooth extraction by visiting your dentist regularly for oral hygiene and dental health checks. This will help you maintain your teeth, prevent tooth decay and gum disease, and also identify any early symptoms that can result in oral, physical or mental illness. Conditions like malocclusion or overcrowding from wisdom teeth can be identified and treated early before extraction is needed to prevent further overcrowding. Injury to the mouth can be avoided by wearing mouth guards during sport, not using teeth to cut string or open lids, having calcium levels checked by medical doctors, and receiving advice about oral hygiene products and techniques for cleaning or whitening.
Our dentists can explain treatments, costs and payment plans with you at your appointment. Details of charges for NHS and Private treatment can be found here.
Root canal treatment can save teeth from extraction, and teeth are only extracted if severely damaged or are a high risk to overcrowding and damage to other teeth.
Extraction may precede treatments like dental implants as substitute root and tooth, or braces to treat teeth overcrowding or improper bite from misaligned teeth.
If you have questions about treatment, our dentist will provide you with information to make informed choices.
Wisdom teeth extractions are a fairly common procedure. Extractions can range from a single tooth, to removing all four wisdom teeth at once. Based on the preference of the dentist and/or the patient, a local anesthetic could be used to numb the areas where the teeth will be extracted. Others will prefer to go under a general anaesthetic so that they will be sedated during the procedure.The gum tissue around the wisdom tooth is cut open to reveal the tooth. The tooth is loosened by gripping it tightly and wiggling it back and forth until it can be lifted out of the gums. Sometimes a tooth may be impacted so tightly that it cannot be simply lifted out of the gums. In cases like this the tooth will be broken up into pieces first before being removed. Depending on the incision and extraction site, sutures may be needed to close the area. Soluble sutures are the best option, which will dissolve on their own.
After the surgery you will need to rest. You need to be driven home by a friend or family member because of the anaesthesia. You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist will prescribe you pain medication, so if you become sore take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain. Your dentist might also provide you with a cleaning solution to clean the extraction site.
You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are:
When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don’t feel that the extraction site is healing properly call your dentist for a follow up.
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