Surviving your tooth extraction
Tooth extractions are never fun, but they don't have to be the stuff of nightmares either. If you've been advised that a tooth has got to go, read on to find out how it's done. Along the way, you might even learn a few tricks to surviving the process.
Why does the dentist need to extract your tooth?
Tooth extractions need to be done for many reasons.
Wisdom teeth: Problems with wisdom teeth are common, and many tooth extractions are necessary because wisdom teeth have emerged from the gums misaligned or causing pressure on the surrounding teeth.
Overcrowding: Sometimes your teeth need more space than your mouth allows them, and one or more teeth have got to go to make your bite straighter and your mouth more comfortable.
Damage and decay: Injuries are another common cause of tooth extractions, as well as significant cavities that have undermined the integrity of the tooth.
Will it hurt?
Your dentist is a professional who wants to make you as comfortable as possible. Before your dentist begins the extraction procedure they will offer you a choice of anaesthetics. Depending on your circumstances you may be given:
Local anaesthetic: Delivered via injections into the gum surrounding the tooth, a local will leave you feeling the movements involved in the procedure but no pain.
Local anaesthesia plus sedation: This option combines a locally injected anaesthetic with a drug designed to calm your nerves.
General anaesthetic: The most substantial form of anaesthetic, a general will put you to sleep, delivering anaesthetic via an injection or a breathing mask.
What will recovery be like?
Tooth extractions are common procedures in Australia, carried out by seasoned professionals. While it's bound to be a nerve wracking time for you, there are two simple steps you can take to help you get through the procedure with flying colours.
Reach out: Ask a friend or family member to support you through the extraction and drive you home afterwards.
Follow your dentist's advice: From cleaning the site of the extraction to attending your follow up appointments, you will speed your recovery by taking the steps your dentist recommends following the extraction.
Whatever the reason for your extraction, remember that the pain your tooth condition is causing you will disappear once your problematic tooth has been removed. So take a deep breath and make that appointment. Once your extraction's over you'll be very glad you did.