If you’ve been told you need a tooth extraction in Westminster, there’s a good chance you’re dreading the procedure, which is completely understandable! But you’ll be glad to know that extractions are much easier than you would expect and ultimately lead to a healthier smile. With that said, you might still be wondering why you would need an extraction in the first place and how long it will take you to recover. Below you’ll find out what the 6 most common reasons for removing teeth are and what you can expect from the healing process. Learn more today!
What Are the 6 Most Common Reasons For an Extraction?
- Gum disease – Gum disease is actually the leading cause of tooth loss because the gums (and underlying bone) are what give the teeth stability and keep them in place. This can eventually cause the teeth to become loose and painful, and they must be removed before replacement options like implants can be done.
- Wisdom teeth – This is the reason most people are familiar with, since the majority of patients don’t have enough room to accommodate their wisdom teeth. When they only come in partially or sideways, they can cause serious problems down the road like infections, cysts, or severe cavities.
- Financial concerns – Dentists typically recommend doing whatever is necessary to save a natural tooth, including large fillings, root canals, and crowns. However, it’s always the patient’s final decision and, in some cases, they may not want to invest money in these procedures for financial or other reasons.
- A severe cavity – Some cavities are so large that they destroy most or all of a tooth, leaving nothing left to support a filling or crown. In these cases, a dentist may recommend extracting the tooth and replacing it with an implant, bridge, or partial denture.
- Large fracture – It’s not uncommon for teeth to develop small fractures over time from clenching, grinding, chewing forces or simple wear-and-tear. When these fractures become large (or if they run vertically), the tooth usually can’t be saved.
- Overcrowding – Overcrowding is very common and can usually be corrected by extracting 1-2 teeth to create room. Oftentimes, before a patient gets braces a dentist may recommend extractions to make orthodontic treatment easier.
What Is the Recovery Like?
The length of your recovery time depends on several factors like your age, overall oral health and how closely you adhere to your dentist’s post-op instructions. But, in general, a simple extraction (done when a tooth has “erupted” and can be seen in the mouth) is mostly healed in 3-4 days, with full healing after 3-4 weeks.
For surgical extractions (in which the tooth is still under the gums and cannot be seen), it usually takes 5-7 days, with full healing after 3-4 weeks.
And don’t forget – most patients report that their extraction procedure was much easier than they expected. Not to mention that you’ll be on your way to better oral health when it’s all said and done!
About the Author
Dr. Terry Batliner is a general and emergency dentist Westminster who always closely evaluates each patient’s needs and goals so he can recommend the best treatment plan for them. During every procedure, including extractions, he makes his patient’s comfort a top priority from start to finish. If you have any questions, he can be reached via his website or at (303) 460-9000.