Do you dread the thought of going to your dentist's office for a tooth extraction? There are some myths around the procedure that may boost the fear factor. Here, our Coquitlam dentists address some of those misconceptions.
Why would I need a tooth extraction?
During a tooth extraction procedure, a tooth that's become problematic is surgically removed. This tooth may have been crowding other teeth in your mouth, emerging in an improper position or be damaged. This can cause pain and discomfort, leaving extraction as your best bet.
This procedure is sometimes referred to as "pulling teeth", and patients have no reason to fear it.
What are some myths about having a tooth pulled?
Below are some common myths about the procedure that we often hear from concerned patients:
1. Having a tooth pulled is painful.
This is one of the most pervasive misconceptions around tooth extraction. However, pain is no longer an issue as anesthesia, modern technology and best-in-practice dental techniques help to minimize pain.
2. Tooth extraction is a go-to dental procedure.
Another untrue myth. Your dentist at Austin Heights Dental will tell you that we try to avoid extracting teeth, preferring to use preventive, more non-invasive treatment methods since extraction can sometimes lead to dental issues (such as misalignment) or needing more treatments such as tooth replacements down the road.
Unless the tooth is severely infected, fractured, decayed or damaged beyond repair, we often recommend alternatives such as a root canal.
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 Coquitlam dentists.