How Do You Know When You Need A Tooth Extraction?

A tooth extraction (also described as “getting teeth pulled”), refers to a dental procedure where a dentist or oral surgeon will remove one or more of your teeth to improve your dental health. A tooth, or multiple teeth, may be extracted for many different reasons. Rest assured that if your dentist or oral surgeon recommend tooth extraction, it is because they believe it will ultimately benefit you more than anything. In any case, tooth extraction procedures are fairly routine for many dentists and oral surgeons, and the procedure itself is generally quick (as long as it is an uncomplicated case).

Warning Signs That May Warrant A Tooth Extraction

So, how do you know when you need a tooth pulled out? When it comes down to it, the only way to know for sure is to physically go see a dentist for an examination. In the meantime, watch out for any of the following signs that you may need a tooth pulled (note that not all of these signs automatically mean you need to have teeth pulled):

1. Overcrowding in the mouth

If an orthodontist or dentist notices that there are some “problem” teeth that can be removed to create more space in the mouth, they may suggest extracting those teeth.

2. Dental Infection

If there is a deep infection in the tooth that has become a threat to your oral health, an extraction may be necessary to prevent worsening of the infection.

3. Impacted teeth (wisdom teeth are common)

Teeth that begin to grow in “impacted” are usually taken out, because the risk of infection or damaging adjacent teeth is greater than any risks from removing them. Wisdom teeth are commonly removed, as they tend to grow in impacted.

4. Severely damaged teeth, past the point of saving

Sometimes injuries to the mouth and face occur, damaging the teeth too much to make them worth saving. In other cases, teeth can become too damaged for repair due to gum disease or drug use, among other causes.

Tooth Extraction Recovery Tips

In the case you need to have a tooth (or teeth) extracted, here are some tips to help you have a smooth recovery:

– Avoid using a straw or sucking on anything for at least 48 hours following the procedure. This may dislodge the blood clot that needs to form to promote healing. If this does happen, you may need to have further treatment for a complication called dry socket.

– Follow all instructions for after care that your dental health care provider gives you.

– Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (if recommended by the dentist or oral surgeon) to ease pain.

– Apply a cold compress to the cheek closest to the area where the tooth was removed to relieve swelling and pain.

– Do not smoke while you are healing.

– Only eat soft foods and try to avoid chewing on the side of the extraction.

If you think you may have experienced one of the aforementioned warning signs, it’s best to give your dentist a call to schedule an appointment. Not all cases are cases for tooth extraction, and sometimes the teeth can be saved before extraction is necessary. Nonetheless, you will never have a true answer until you visit a dentist in person for an examination. Advanced DDS offers premiere full-service dental care in Nassau County, NY where our team provide exceptional care for all patients. Schedule a dental appointment today at 516-825-1100.

infographic describing when teeth extractions may be necessary

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