There are several different reasons your dentist may decide to pull your tooth, especially if it has become damaged by decay or trauma. In some cases, if your mouth it too crowded, the dentist may not be able to align your teeth effectively because they may be too big. An example of this is if your tooth cannot emerge from the gum because there is not enough room in the rest of your mouth.
The goal of any dentist is to prevent infection, so if your tooth has decay that extends to the pulp, the best course of action to prevent the infection from spreading may be to pull the tooth. People who have gum disease, which affects the tissues and bones around the teeth may need a tooth extraction. These are all preventative measures that may involve the dentist scheduling your extraction at a later date. If you have an appointment scheduled and begin to experience extreme pain, bleeding or swelling, you should contact an emergency dentist immediately.
The Extraction Process Itself
Before the dentist extracts your tooth, he or she will inject a local anesthetic to numb the area. The dentist may have to first cut away gum and bone that is covering the tooth then use forceps to grab it and loosen it from the jaw. In some cases, the tooth may have to be removed in pieces if it is too difficult to take out. The dentist may use stitches to close the wound, but most of the time, it begins to clot on its own and you will be given gauze to bite down on to stop the bleeding.
After the Extraction
The recovery period for a tooth extraction usually takes a few days. Your dentist may instruct you to take pain medication, apply ice to the site and tell you to prop your head up when you sleep because lying flat could prolong bleeding. You should not drink from a straw or smoke for at least the first day, and the dentist will have you rinse your mouth with a special solution that will kill any germs on the site. The dentist may schedule a follow-up appointment to ensure the area is healing properly.