Most people are afraid when they hear tooth extractions, which could also be one of the reasons why they are scared to visit a dentist. Yet, it is a common dental procedure performed by a dentist or oral surgeon. Here, we’ll discuss the reasons why tooth extraction is necessary for your oral health.
Tooth extraction is a dental procedure that involves having a tooth or several teeth removed from their sockets in the jaw bone. The tooth and its root anatomy determine the complexity of tooth removal. For instance, molar teeth are generally more difficult to extract than other adjacent teeth. Also, wisdom teeth can have a wide range of root structures, making them difficult to remove in general.
The dentist will determine whether the procedure is through surgical extraction or simple extraction. For complex extractions, you may be referred to an oral surgeon or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
A dentist or oral surgeon performs a tooth extraction as an outpatient operation. It is performed under local or general anaesthesia, depending on the case. One of the purposes of tooth extraction is to protect or improve your dental health.
Tooth infection or decay is the most common reason for tooth extraction (beyond fillings). In most cases, root canal therapy can save a tooth infection, but in some cases, the decay is so extensive that extraction is the only option.
Reasons for Tooth Removal
In some circumstances, a dental filling, crown, or other dental treatment may be performed to restore teeth that are fractured, decayed, or impacted wisdom teeth. If the damage is too extensive to repair, your dentist may recommend the removal of teeth.
However, there are several other reasons for extraction. These may include the following:
Tooth decay or extensive cavities
According to recent studies, caries (tooth cavities) and periodontitis (gum disease) are the most common indications for tooth extraction. Studies consistently estimate the prevalence rate of nondental and nonmedical motivation for tooth extraction is lacking.
If the infection caused by decay extends and damages the tooth pulp, root canal therapy may not be enough to save the tooth and the surrounding teeth. In addition, there are some instances that the patient suffers from a periodontal disease that has progressed to the point wherein teeth are loose. Thus, tooth extraction is necessary to prevent other oral diseases that necessitate more complex dental procedures.
For orthodontic reasons
Your dentist may advise tooth extraction as part of the preparation for your orthodontic treatment, such as dental braces. The goal is to prepare your mouth and ensure there is enough space for the teeth to adjust. The alignment may not be possible if you have crowded teeth, are too large, or if a tooth is not able to emerge through the gum due to the lack of space in the mouth. Impacted wisdom teeth must be extracted if the dentist determines that they will interfere with the proper positioning of the teeth.
Supernumerary teeth are those that appear in addition to the normal series of teeth or permanent tooth structure. They can appear anywhere in the mouth. They can grow as a single tooth or multiple teeth, unilaterally or bilaterally, erupted or impacted, and in the mandible/maxilla or both jaws.
Typically, supernumerary teeth in the upper jaw are removed surgically, often due to the retention of permanent teeth in the region. Still, in some cases, the supernumerary teeth do not cause changes in the permanent dentition’s eruption, position, or integrity.
Trauma or fracture
When an accident occurs, such as a car accident, a patient may suffer from trauma and fractured teeth. If the patient requires dental treatment, the first option is always to save the teeth. Typically, dental bonding, crowns, bridges, or veneers will be recommended. However, tooth extraction may be necessary if the case is an untreatable fracture or the dental problem is severe.
How to Prevent Tooth Extraction?
It is important to maintain a healthy mouth and teeth. Not only to prevent tooth extraction, but to avoid oral problems that may affect your overall health. There are ways to achieve this, and this may include the following:
Practice good oral hygiene.
Maintaining good oral health by practising oral hygiene habits can help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile. Brushing your teeth twice a day can eliminate unpleasant odours and bacteria. Flossing at least once daily can remove food particles that may get stuck between your teeth, which can cause plaque that attracts bacteria.
Without proper dental hygiene, there is a risk of decay that may lead to cavities affecting your tooth enamel and pulp. Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash can also help eliminate debris that brushing alone can not remove.
Treating the damaged tooth.
If tooth decay or damage penetrates the pulp (the centre of the tooth that contains dental nerves and blood vessels), bacteria in the mouth can enter and cause infection. If the damage is not extensive, it may still be possible to treat it with root canal therapy. The dentist will determine the issue and discuss the alternative available for you.
Take care of your teeth.
Frequent consumption of sugary drinks, candies, and chewy foods can result in tooth fractures. Biting hard food or even substances can cause enamel damage and make you more vulnerable to dental emergencies such as chipped, cracked, or broken teeth. Aside from establishing oral hygiene habits, it is also essential to avoid using your teeth to open things. Hard objects, such as bottle caps, can not only cause teeth to crack or chip, but they can also cause tooth wear, poor jaw alignment, and jaw pain.
The Cost of Dental Extraction
Patients pay less for dental insurance-covered tooth extractions. The majority of medically required extractions will be covered. The cost of a tooth extraction varies depending on the complexity, what type of procedure you require, what teeth are necessary to be extracted, and your location.
According to the Australian Dental Association, the average cost of a simple extraction in Victoria, Australia, can range from $187.69 to $300. Surgical removal, such as wisdom tooth removal, may range from \$284.67 to \$2,300.
Separate charges may apply for the required anaesthesia before tooth extraction. In addition, affordable payment options are available in our dental clinic.
FAQs About Tooth Extractions
Factors affecting the cost of tooth extraction
The total cost of a tooth extraction varies and is determined by several factors. It may be beneficial to inquire at the clinic beforehand for you to prepare.
The location of the dental office.
Different states and cities have different fees for dental treatments. The dental office’s location also plays a role in determining how much each procedure they will offer. For instance, a dental office pays monthly for the rent, mortgage, taxes, supplies, etc. All these factors affect the average cost of certain dental treatments.
The type of extraction required for the case.
There are different types of tooth extraction, mainly simple extraction and surgical tooth extraction. A simple extraction involves removing (rocking and pulling) a tooth that is visible at the gumline. It is less invasive and typically less expensive. In contrast, surgical tooth extraction is recommended for more complex cases, such as removing impacted wisdom teeth. This procedure involves an incision in the gums and removing parts of the bone to expose the tooth. Hence, surgical removal can be more costly.
If you have a more complicated tooth extraction, you may require or refer to a specialised oral surgeon. The dentist’s location and special expertise can be more costly. Furthermore, suppose you are living in a more remote area. In that case, the extraction may be more expensive due to the lower accessibility of resources in these areas, which costs the dental practice more money to stock items.
If you have private medical insurance, it’s essential that you choose a dental clinic that accepts the insurance company you’re with. This will help to keep out-of-pocket costs to a minimum. If you’ve recently joined a private health provider, make sure to check the waiting period, as most of these companies require you to wait 6-12 months before they’ll cover any dental procedures.
It is essential to schedule an appointment with a dentist or oral surgeon ahead of time to discuss the costs of the treatment.
What to do after tooth extraction?
Your dentist or surgeon will provide you with post-operative care following the procedure. It is necessary to avoid damage to the extraction site and help yourself to a speedy recovery.
Here’s the list of DOs after tooth extraction:
- Take a rest. Allowing your body to rest will help you to recover. Avoid doing any strenuous activity that may dislodge the blood clot.
- Practise proper oral hygiene. After twenty-four hours, you may resume normal brushing and flossing, but avoid the area surrounding the extracted tooth until it has completely healed. Instead, gently rinse with warm salt water once you’ve determined that a blood clot has formed to prevent the risk of infection.
- Eat nutritious and soft foods to help speed up your healing process. You can eat soft fruits like avocado, mashed or blended bananas, applesauce, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and blended soup. You can ask your dentist about the best diet during the recovery period.
- Rinse your mouth gently with warm saltwater. You can rinse gently twenty-four hours after tooth extraction.
- Alleviate the pain and swelling. Take any prescription pain medications according to your dentist’s instructions. Swelling is normal after tooth removal. Apply an ice pack on your face for about fifteen to twenty minutes.
Here’s the list of DON’Ts after tooth extraction:
- Avoid drinking with a straw. Suction and the excessive pressure with which the beverage enters the mouth might dislodge the clot on the wound, resulting in a dry socket.
- Do not spit. The pressure from spitting out may dislodge your blood clot.
- Avoid smoking. It may seem impossible, but smoking is known to slow down the healing period of the surgical site. Discuss your alternatives or tips with your dentist about how to stop smoking.
- Don’t rinse. It might be tempting, but avoid rinsing your mouth for twenty hours following the tooth extraction, and spit only gently once you are allowed to mouthrinse.
How to manage complications at home
It is normal to feel pain and swelling after oral surgery or tooth extraction. The dentist can prescribe over-the-counter pain medication to aid the discomfort. But, be careful to follow the prescription to avoid medical complications.
Swelling is expected. It is a natural body response after surgery or any type of trauma to the body. Gently applying a cold compress to your face can help reduce the swelling.
If you’ve had a tooth extracted recently, you’re at risk of having a dry socket. While dry socket is the most frequently encountered complication of tooth extraction, it is still relatively rare.
You can identify a dry socket if you check the extraction site and see a bone.
The following are home remedies for dry sockets and excessive bleeding:
- Rinsing with warm saltwater
- Apply warm and cold packs. While warmth is likely to relieve dry socket pain effectively, cold can help numb your nerves more effectively.
- Add clove oil to your gauze pad.
- Bite down gently on a clean, cold tea bag for fifteen minutes. Tannic acid, which is found in black tea, serves as a natural antibacterial agent while relieving swelling and pain.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can help relieve pain and swelling. Their anti-infection properties are limited, but they can ease the pain until you can see your dentist.
Since a dry socket might expose the nerves and bones in your gums, it is critical to receive dental care immediately. It might result in infection and other complications if left untreated.