Tooth Extraction – It’s Not as Difficult as You Think
If you say that trying to make someone do something was like pulling teeth, you mean it was very difficult and they did not want to do it: But that phrase was coined in 1855 when pulling a tooth was done without any kind of sedation and literally with a pair of plyers! However, a tooth extraction these days, especially when done by Drs. Martin and Taylor, is so much easier, less painful and not nearly as dramatic!
What is the Most Common Reason For Tooth Extraction?
One of the most common reasons for tooth extractions is impacted wisdom teeth. A wisdom tooth is considered impacted when it does not fully erupt into the mouth because of blockage from other teeth. Some folks have a big enough jaw for those back molars to emerge, but most people do not have jaws big enough to allow all the molars to erupt properly. To have your wisdom teeth removed is the best option in those cases.
When is Best Time to Have Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Most often wisdom teeth are extracted when the patient is between 14-25 years old. The reason this is the best window of time to have these teeth removed is that the dentist can now see if the teeth are going to become, or are already, impacted. The roots however, aren’t completely formed and the bones aren’t as dense as they will be after age 30. Dr. Martin says it is usually better to get it over with at this age and it’s not as bad as you think! It’s also better to address impacted wisdom teeth when there is no infection or severely traumatized tissue already occurring.
What If I Have to Have Wisdom Teeth Removed as an Adult?
Adults that still have their wisdom teeth past the age of 30 or so, may find it difficult to clean and floss the teeth in the back of their mouth. That can cause bacteria and eventually infection to form around the impacted tooth. Because the roots of the teeth are completely formed and bones are more dense at this age, wisdom teeth removal later in life can be a bit more complicated. Although extremely rare (less than 1% of all cases), side effects for adults over 30 having their wisdom teeth removed can include jaw fracture, nerve damage, or sinus cavity involvement. Again, these complications are extremely rare, but do give support to having impacted wisdom teeth removed at a younger age if at all possible.
What Can I Expect If I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
At Martin Taylor Dentistry the patient is given three tablets to take 90 minutes prior to their appointment. This oral sedation (3 different pills) includes halcion (triazolam), an anti-anxiety medication known as hydroxyzine, along with benadryl or diphenhydramine to help make the patient drowsy. Once the patient is in the chair the doctors will evaluate if more triazolam is needed to make the patient more relaxed and comfortable or if they need to use the nitrous oxide gas.
The procedure to remove all four wisdom teeth generally takes about an hour and a half. After the teeth are removed, the doctors suture the areas and then pack the areas with gauze for any residual bleeding. Patients are given a 7-day supply of antibiotics to guard against infection, along with a prescription for pain medication. Patients generally use the pain pills for a day or two after the initial anesthesia has worn off. After that, ibuprofen is usually all that is needed. Patients are instructed to use ice packs to reduce swelling and pain for the first couple of days, then heat.
Dr. Martin and Dr. Taylor often do wisdom teeth removal on Fridays to allow the patients two days to recover . Usually they can return to school or work the following Monday. Patients are also encouraged to eat a soft diet, drink plenty of fluids, rinse their mouth with a salt water solution and sleep with their head elevated the first couple of nights. The patient returns to see the dentist one week later for a follow up visit and are completely healed usually 10 days after the procedure.
What is Dry Socket?
Dry socket occurs when the blood clot under the sutures gets dislodged. Patients wanting to avoid this uncomfortable condition should not smoke nor should they drink through a straw which can suck out the blood clot and expose the surgical site. Additionally Drs. Martin and Taylor use a product called gelfoam at the surgery site to lessen the chance of the blood clot getting dislodged.
What Other Reasons Do Teeth Have to Be Extracted?
Besides wisdom teeth removal, other reasons for tooth extractions are because a tooth is badly compromised by a fracture or decay. Dr. Martin and Dr Taylor try to restore teeth as often as possible ,yet sometimes a tooth is simply beyond repair. In those cases it needs to be removed. Removal of a tooth can be followed up with an implant or other means of restoration if needed.
For children, a tooth may need to be extracted if the primary tooth gets wedged, not allowing the adult tooth to emerge. This is a very simple procedure since the root of primary tooth is underdeveloped and the tooth wants to come out. Another reason a tooth may need to be extracted is when an orthodontist sees overcrowding and removal of a tooth will improve the situation.
Can All General Dentists Extract Teeth?
If it a simple procedure, such as a baby tooth that has become wedged, yes, most general dentists can remove the tooth. However if any type of sedation is needed, as would be the case with wisdom teeth, most general dentists are not qualified to administer conscious sedation and will therefore have to send the patient to an oral surgeon. Because Dr. Martin and Dr. Taylor are fully qualified to administer sedation, they can perform this kind of procedure. Both doctors also have also have extensive experience doing extraction surgeries. The patients of Martin Taylor Dentistry appreciate that they can have this work done by their own dentist and that they don’t have to go to a whole different practice to have these procedures completed.
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