At Chalkwell Dental, we always try to preserve natural teeth wherever possible, making appropriate repairs where necessary. Occasionally though, a tooth may be so badly damaged or decayed that saving it is no longer a realistic option and at this stage we may take the view that it is better to extract it.
Most extractions are relatively straightforward, but occasionally more complex surgical removal may be required (for example, where the tooth has broken off at the gum line).
How are teeth extracted?
Contrary to what many people believe, a tooth is not simply ‘pulled’ until it comes out. Although the technique will vary depending on circumstances, the procedure is generally as follows. Once a decision has been taken to remove the damaged or decayed tooth, you will be given a local anaesthetic to eliminate any pain. The dentist then uses specially designed tools to manipulate the tooth and, using a gentle rocking motion from side to side, gradually loosens it from the socket. Once it is loose enough, then the tooth is simply removed.
Is the procedure painful?
You should not experience any pain during the procedure though you may feel a grinding sensation and some pressure. This is entirely normal and is nothing to worry about. It is often the anticipation that you are about to feel pain that concerns many patients, rather than any actual discomfort felt and here at Chalkwell Dental you can be sure that you are in very experienced hands.
Will there be bleeding afterwards?
As you can imagine, there will be some bleeding immediately following the extraction and to stem this you will be given a piece of sterile gauze to bite on for a short while. This allows a blood clot to form in the socket which starts the healing process. Care should be taken not to do anything that might dislodge the blood clot, such as spitting or swilling liquid in the mouth. Should the clot be removed, there is the risk of ‘dry socket’ which can be very painful.
You will be given full aftercare instructions, and, of course, we are always available should you have any concerns following the procedure.
Should I replace the missing tooth?
This is certainly an option available to you and one that, especially in the case of a visible front tooth, many people take. There are a number of alternatives for replacing a missing tooth which include a partial denture, a dental bridge or a dental implant. Whilst, it is considered by many that dental implants now offer the best solution for replacing a lost tooth, there are pros and cons to all options which we will be pleased to discuss in more detail with you during a consultation.
For more information about tooth extraction or to discuss replacing a lost tooth with us, please call Chalkwell Dental in Leigh On Sea on 01702 475065.