Tooth removal is a very common procedure, and there are several reasons why it may may be done. The idea of having a tooth ‘pulled’ may not be a very pleasant idea for most people, but in many cases, it is a necessary procedure. Tooth removal can help alleviate pain and reduce risk of infection.

Why Might Tooth Removal be Necessary?

Decay and Infection

Food and drink that are high in sugar can damage your teeth. This is because the sugar can react with the plaque (a substance rich in bacteria) that forms on teeth and create acids. These acids will corrode the teeth, causing the hard, enamel coating to weaken and erode. This is known as tooth decay.

Over time, this decay will attack more and more of the tooth, eventually reaching the dental pulp. The pulp is the area of soft tissue at the very center of the tooth, which contains blood vessels and nerves. Should decay reach the pulp, bacteria will be able to access this sensitive area and cause infection. Cases of severe infection may require the tooth to be removed, to prevent the infection from spreading.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

The wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to erupt. Usually, the wisdom teeth emerge easily, but in some cases, there may not be enough space for them to develop. In such cases, the wisdom teeth may become stuck, only partially emerge, or emerge at an angle. Such a case is known as an impacted wisdom tooth. This can cause serious pain and swelling, and even increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. As a result, it may be necessary for impacted wisdom teeth to be removed. 

The Procedure 

A tooth removal will be performed by either a dentist or a specialist oral surgeon. The procedure will usually be performed under a local anaesthetic, although a general anaesthetic may be used should multiple extractions be required. The extraction is a simple process; the surgeon will grasp the tooth with forceps and gently loosen it, before pulling it from the jawbone. In the case of an impacted tooth, the gum and bone that cover it may need to be cut away first.

After the tooth has been removed, a blood clot will usually form. The surgeon will pack the socket with gauze padding in order to stop the bleeding. Stitches may be required to close the gum over the wound. After the extraction, recovery will usually take a few days. Painkillers may be prescribed to ease the pain. For more information about the procedure, contact a company like Altoona Center For Oral Surgery & Maxillofacial Surgery.