No one wants to have a tooth pulled out, but sometimes it’s necessary. If your tooth has been broken or damaged by decay, your dentist will attempt to fix it with a filling, a crown, a root canal, or some other procedure. However, when the damage is too severe for a repair, a tooth extraction may be necessary. Teeth are also sometimes removed because they’re wreaking havoc by pushing at the surrounding teeth, disturbing their alignment. If your dentist has recommended a tooth extraction procedure, you might feel a bit apprehensive. Scroll down to learn more about the two types of tooth removal and what will happen if you forgo an extraction.
Types of Tooth Extraction Procedure
During a tooth extraction, the tooth is removed from its socket in the bone. Your dentist will decide which method of extraction to use based on the location of your tooth.
If your tooth is visible (i.e., it’s above the gum line), it will be removed with a simple extraction procedure. Your dentist will loosen the tooth with an instrument called an elevator and then use forceps to remove the tooth.
If your tooth has not erupted (i.e., come through the gum line) or has broken off at the gum line, a more complex procedure known as a surgical extraction will be necessary. Your dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon, who will make a small incision in the gums to surgically remove the broken, decaying, or impacted tooth.
What Would Happen If the Tooth Weren’t Extracted?
If you’re tempted to refuse a tooth extraction procedure, going against your dentist’s recommendation, we encourage you to reconsider. Your refusal could have serious and painful consequences.
Your damaged tooth may cause an abscess, which is a swollen area of body tissue containing pus. If this abscess isn’t treated through extraction, the infection may cause intense pain and swelling and could lead to more serious complications:
- Sinus Infection: Because the roots of the upper molars are located just beneath the sinuses, an abscessed tooth can cause a sinus infection. The pus from the abscess may fill the sinuses, causing a dull and continuous pain.
- Brain Abscess: The pus could spread to the brain through blood vessels, causing a brain abscess. This could lead to a coma.
- Heart Complications: If bacteria from a dental abscess reach the heart through blood vessels, serious heart complications may occur. This is referred to as bacterial endocarditis.
- Ludwig’s Angina: A tooth abscess may cause Ludwig’s angina, a serious infection affecting parts of the face and lower jaw. This infection can grow large enough to block the airways, causing suffocation or even death.
Although it’s never pleasant to have a tooth removed, the process is typically quick and routine and will allow your mouth to begin healing. It can also eliminate pain, banish bacteria, and prevent overcrowding. Not to mention the fact that a tooth extraction could save you from heart complications, a coma, or even death!
If you’re feeling anxious about the procedure, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist or dental hygienist any questions you have. Sometimes learning a little more about the process can make a tooth extraction sound less like a scary operation and more like the helpful, healing procedure that it is.
If you’re looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist near Springfield, Missouri, contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. For exceptional and comprehensive dental care, schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!