Tooth Extraction and Dental Phobia

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The removal of a tooth (more commonly known as an extraction) is possibly the most frightening aspect of dentistry to anyone with a phobia or who lacks an understanding of the actual process of extraction. In truth, an extraction isn’t too different from other dental procedures thanks to the effects of the anaesthetic used.

What is a tooth extraction?

A tooth extraction is everything that the name tells us, the removal of a tooth. Teeth are only ever extracted when completely necessary, for example if a tooth has been severely damaged and can’t be repaired, whether from decay or physical damage. The gums around a tooth may have suffered to the extent that they can’t support the teeth embedded in them. Emerging teeth, and often wisdom teeth, are extracted if their growth has a negative impact on any surrounding teeth, i.e. making them crooked and therefore more difficult to clean and more susceptible to decay. Lastly if you’re having braces fitted then part of the orthodontic work involved can be the removal of certain teeth to allow others to grow straight.

What happens during an extraction?

While there is some variation in how your dentist will go about your extraction depending on which teeth are being removed and any complications unique to your mouth, most procedures are straightforward. A local anaesthetic will be administered by means of an injection which allows the tooth to first be loosened, and then removed. If there are more complicated requirements to the procedure, for instance any work on your gums necessary for the extraction, then a qualified oral surgeon is likely to be the one involved rather than your dentist.

Dental phobia and extractions

A dental extraction is only ever suggested as the treatment option of choice when absolutely necessary as your dentist will try and save your teeth when they can. Furthermore a gap in your teeth can cause some other complications which they would try and avoid, for example, food getting caught and fuelling decay where your tooth was.

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