4 Signs You Need an Extraction

Do you feel like you may need an extraction, but aren’t sure?

Tooth extractions can be necessary for various reasons, but primarily when a tooth has been severely damaged to the extent that it can no longer be saved.

To learn more about when this treatment is necessary, here are 5 signs you need an extraction.

  1. You Have Severely Damaged Teeth

    Teeth that have been significantly damaged may also require removal. This can include a broken or chipped tooth caused by a sharp impact. If the tooth cannot be salvaged or treated, removal can be necessary, followed by a dental implant.

  2. You Have Severely Infected Teeth

    Without proper oral care, teeth can become infected over time. If you have a tooth that has become severely infected, the level of decay can prevent any treatment, such as a root canal, from being effective.

    Extraction at this point would be necessary to prevent the infection from spreading, which can end up seriously impacting your overall health and well-being if left ignored.

  3. Your Potential Risk of Infection Is High

    In some cases, if your immune system is significantly weakened due to treatment, such as chemotherapy, your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction to eliminate any potential risk of infection since it can be extremely taxing and dangerous on the body.

    If you’re undergoing chemotherapy and are experiencing significant tenderness, swelling, or redness, or have a tooth that has been seriously damaged or infected, it may need to be removed.

  4. You Have Severely Loose Teeth

    A severely loose tooth can highlight the onset of gum disease in a patient, and usually, this means the tooth must be removed to treat and prevent the damage from impacting the teeth and bones nearby.

    If you have a very loose tooth, this could indicate that you need an extraction. It’s so important to take good care of your teeth and gums to protect your oral health and the health of your entire body.

    If you notice any signs of severe swelling or discomfort in your mouth, always reach out to your dentist and book an appointment right away to have it examined. The dentist will always perform a thorough inspection, including X-rays, before deciding on a necessary extraction.

Is it Okay to Remove a Painful Tooth?

Certainly, if a tooth is causing significant pain and discomfort, it’s often advisable to consult with a dental professional who can determine the appropriate treatment, which may include extraction.

Such options are typically based on the severity of damage to the tooth or surrounding structures, the presence of infection, and the overall impact on the patient's oral and general health.

However, the removal of an aching tooth, known as an extraction, is a dental procedure that should be considered carefully. It’s not always the immediate solution for tooth pain.

Dentists may attempt to preserve the natural tooth through treatments like fillings, crowns, or root canals unless the tooth is beyond repair or poses a significant health risk.

The decision to extract a tooth takes into account several factors, including the tooth's ability to be restored, the patient's pain levels, and the likelihood of future dental issues if the tooth remains.

How Do I Prepare for a Tooth Extraction?

Preparation for tooth extraction involves a few key steps to ensure the process is smooth and recovery is swift. It’s essential to provide your dentist with a full medical history, including any medications you’re taking, as some may need to be temporarily adjusted.

Before the procedure, follow any specific pre-operative instructions given by your dentist, such as fasting if sedation will be used. Planning for adequate rest after the extraction and arranging for someone to drive you home is also important.

It's advisable to avoid smoking and alcohol as they can hinder the healing process. Lastly, setting up a comfortable recovery area at home with extra pillows can help you maintain a relaxed, elevated head position to manage swelling.

What Can I Expect During the Procedure?

During the procedure, you can generally expect to receive a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth to be extracted. Your dentist will use specialized tools to gently rock the tooth back and forth until it loosens from the jawbone and ligaments that hold it in place.

While you shouldn’t feel pain due to the anesthetic, it’s common to feel pressure or movement. If you’re anxious about the procedure, discuss sedation options with your dentist beforehand. Be sure to communicate any discomfort immediately, as additional numbing medication can be administered to ensure a painless experience.

Once the tooth is removed, your dentist will clean the extraction site, possibly place a stitch or two if necessary, and have you bite down on a piece of gauze to aid in clot formation and to control bleeding.

How Long is the Recovery Following a Tooth Removal Procedure

Post-extraction recovery typically spans several days. In the initial 24 hours, it's crucial to allow a blood clot to form by biting on a gauze pad in the extraction area and minimizing activities. Swelling can be mitigated with cold compresses applied to the cheek.

Pain management is often handled with prescribed or over-the-counter medications, following the dentist's instructions. For most patients, the discomfort wanes within three days, but it's normal for full healing to take one to two weeks.

During this period, dietary modifications to soft foods and careful oral hygiene are paramount to prevent complications.

At Dow’s Lake Dentistry, our priority is always to give the best in oral care and to ensure that patients feel safe and comfortable, especially during the extraction process. If you’re concerned about a tooth and think an extraction might be required, contact us today to set up an appointment.