Why Your Dentist Has Recommended a Tooth Extraction

Cartoon tooth removed by forceps.

You are at the dentist’s office and the visit is going well—no cavities, healthy gums, and a free toothbrush on your way out the door. However, after looking at your X-rays, your dentist recommends having your wisdom teeth removed so they don’t cause you any problems in the near future. You feel a small knot form in your stomach as you imagine a giant pair of forceps staring you in the face. But you do not need to panic; having your wisdom teeth removed, or undergoing any other type of tooth extraction, is something that your dentist will carefully guide you through. Here is what you need to know about tooth extraction and what you can expect.

What Exactly is Tooth Extraction?

A tooth extraction is exactly what it sounds like! Performed by an oral surgeon, general dentist, or periodontist, the tooth is simply extracted from the dental alveolus or socket. There are two primary types of tooth extraction: a simple extraction, which is performed on visible teeth, and a surgical extraction, which is performed when the teeth are not easily accessible and usually involves an incision and local anesthesia.

Why Do Teeth Need to be Extracted?

Even though there are many different scenarios that require tooth extraction, it is always done for a good reason. One of the most common situations involves a tooth that has received irreparable damage due to tooth decay. Other things that can sometimes require tooth extraction include advanced gum disease, impacted teeth, an overcrowded mouth, or mouth trauma due to injury. One of the most performed tooth extractions is the removal of wisdom teeth, as most people do not have room in their mouths for a third set of molars.

Should I Be Worried About Tooth Extraction?

Tooth extraction is typically considered as a last option for certain dental solutions, and your dentist will consult with you to determine if it’s viable for you. Your dentist will be sure you’re properly prepared for the steps you must take before and after the process. That said, it’s nothing that you should worry about as long as you follow your dentist’s instructions.

A tooth extraction can sound frightening, but it might be the best way to get your oral health back on track. Your dentist will only extract a tooth if it’s absolutely necessary, meaning the end-result will be one you’re both happy and comfortable with.

About the Author

Dr. Lance Timmerman received his DMD from the Oral Health and Sciences University and is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. He has an artistic passion for dentistry and happily serves the dental needs for the Seattle area. If you have any questions about the article or would like to contact Dr. Timmerman, you can reach him at his website or (206)-241-5533.

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