Many patients dread the day they have to come into their dentist's office for a tooth extraction. However, some myths around the procedure can increase the fear factor. In this post, our Edmonton dentists debunk some of these misconceptions.
Why would I need a tooth extraction?
Sometimes, teeth can become problematic and will need to be removed with a surgical procedure called a tooth extraction. A tooth may be crowding the other teeth in your mouth, emerging in an improper position or damaged. This can cause discomfort and pain, leaving extraction as the best option.
The procedure is sometimes referred to as "pulling teeth". Despite the misconceptions around it, there's no reason to fear a tooth extraction.
What are some myths about having a tooth pulled?
In this post, you'll read about some myths about the tooth extraction procedure that we often hear from concerned patients:
1. Having a tooth pulled is painful.
One of the most common and persistent misconceptions around tooth extraction is that you'll experience pain during the procedure. However, anesthesia, modern technology and best-in-practice dental techniques are now used by dentists to minimize pain during procedures.
2. Tooth extraction is a go-to dental procedure.
This is also untrue. At Azarko Dental Group, we try to avoid extracting teeth in favour of preventive, more non-invasive treatment methods, since extraction can sometimes result in dental issues (such as misalignment) or needing more treatments such as tooth replacements in the future.
Unless the tooth is severely infected, damaged, fractured or decayed beyond repair, alternatives such as a root canal are often recommended.
However, sometimes a tooth extraction is unavoidable. A couple of ways to reduce your chances of needing a tooth extraction is to practice excellent oral hygiene and to wear a mouthguard during high-impact sports and physical activities.
3. It will take a long time to recover.
Though you may envision needing to cancel commitments and move your schedule around for some time, this isn’t the case. In most cases, you should recover from the surgery within 3 to 4 days and be able to return to work or school.
However, some patients take up to a week to recover if the extraction was complex. Though complete healing of the tooth socket may take 2 to 4 weeks, your mouth should be functional again within those few days. To speed recovery, stick to a diet of soft foods and avoid smoking, or performing strenuous physical activity which can dislodge the blood clot.
Ask your dentist about other after-care instructions that help to promote healing, reduce pain and prevent the tooth socket from becoming infected.
4. Everyone needs their wisdom teeth pulled.
Though you may hear a lot about people between the ages of 17 and 25 needing their wisdom teeth extracted, there are instances where our dentists will not recommend the procedure. In some cases, your wisdom teeth may emerge without causing potential harm, pain or damage to the rest of your teeth.
To find out whether you need your wisdom teeth removed, schedule an appointment with our Edmonton dentists.