No matter what your age, you hope to keep your natural white smile for a lifetime. You brush and floss regularly, visit the dentist like clockwork and watch for the early warning signs of tooth decay and gum disease.
Proper oral hygiene is the best way to avoid problems with your teeth, but it is still possible that you will need a tooth extracted at some point. There are many reasons why your dentist would need to perform an extraction, from a root system that has been compromised by gum disease to physical damage caused by a fall or other injury.
If your dentist tells you that one or more of your teeth will need to be extracted, it is important to know what to expect. Being told you need an extraction can be scary, but your dentist will assure you that there is nothing to fear.
If an extraction is necessary, your dentist will go over the procedure with you in detail, talking about the exact procedures that will be used and how the process will work. If you need a simple extraction, the dentist will provide you with local anesthetic to numb your mouth and use dental instruments to extract the tooth. If you are prone to fear or anxiety, the dentist may offer you anti-anxiety medications or give you the option of more extensive sedation.
If the tooth that needs to be removed is not easily visible, your dentist will probably opt for a surgical extraction. This type of extraction is generally done under conscious sedation, although some procedures may be performed under local anesthesia.
No matter which type of extraction you are having done, it is important to prepare properly. If you will be receiving sedation, you will need to have someone drive you home, so be sure to make arrangements before the appointment. Your dentist will also take a complete medical history before the procedure, so be sure to share information on medications you take, past surgeries you have had and the like.
You may be given oral antibiotics to take after the extraction procedure. These antibiotics are designed to fight off infection and prevent complications, so be sure to take the entire course of medication even if you feel fine. Your dentist will also make a follow-up appointment to make sure your teeth and gums are healing properly. Be sure to keep that appointment and tell your dentist about any problems you experience.
Having a tooth extracted is not a pleasant experience, but sometimes it is the best course of action. Whether your tooth is infected or damaged by decay, having it extracted can prevent further complications, and dental implants can restore your smile and make you look better than ever.