Why You Don’t Need to Be Afraid of a Tooth Extraction
When you find out you need to have a tooth removed, it’s understandable to feel nervous about it. You might worry about the pain or what happens during the procedure. Our dentists in Phoenix want you to know that there’s no need to be anxious about tooth extractions. Keep the following in mind about this common dental procedure, including what to expect and how we minimize discomfort.
Tooth Extraction Process
As dentists, we try to save damaged teeth when possible, but there are times when this isn’t an option. In these cases, an extraction will be recommended to prevent severe damage or decay or to lower the risk of infections. If you need a tooth removed due to serious decay or for other reasons, knowing what happens can help you feel less nervous about the procedure.
The steps involved in a tooth extraction depend on whether you need a simple or surgical removal done. A simple extraction involves numbing the area before loosening your tooth and removing it using dental forceps. During this procedure, your dentist typically does not have to make any cuts or incisions in your gums.
If you need a surgical extraction, such as when a tooth that hasn’t completely grown in, this procedure is a bit more complex. Surgical extractions involve having a tiny incision made in your gum in order to get to the affected tooth and remove it. This can also involve having multiple teeth removed during one visit. For example, removing three or four impacted wisdom teeth.
Pain Management for Tooth Extractions
Tooth extractions are safe procedures with minimal risks. Your dentist will take steps to minimize pain and discomfort by using anesthetics and/or sedation. If you need a simple extractione, our dentists use a local anesthetic that numbs the area surrounding your tooth. This keeps you from feeling anything while your tooth is removed.
If you need a surgical tooth extraction, you can expect to undergo dental sedation. Surgical extractions are more invasive, since dentists need to make an incision in your gums to remove your tooth. Local anesthetics might not be strong enough for pain management in this case. Intravenous (IV) sedation puts you in a pleasant, semi-conscious state. You’re not asleep, but you’re also not fully aware of what is going on around you. After the sedative wears off, you might not even remember what happened during the procedure.
Keep in mind that you’re likely to have some discomfort after the anesthetic or sedative wears off. This is a normal part of the healing process and should only be temporary and mild. You can usually get relief from this discomfort with over-the-counter pain relievers. Pain and discomfort after a tooth extraction can last for just a few days or for a couple of weeks, especially after a surgical extraction.
Dental Anxiety and Tooth Extractions
While your dentist will offer something to reduce pain during the extraction, you might need something more if you struggle with dental anxiety. This kind of anxiety can make you feel more nervous about going to the dentist. In this case, dental sedation can help relieve your anxiety and make you feel more relaxed. Different kinds of dental sedation can be used for tooth extractions, including IV sedation. Oral sedation is another option which involves taking oral medication to ease anxiety. Many people use nitrous oxide, since it works quickly, wears off quickly, and is safe for most patients. Our dentists can determine the best type of dental sedation to use, so you can have a tooth removed with less anxiety. This helps ensure that you get the treatment you need rather than delaying it, which can lead to more serious dental problems in the future.
If you feel scared about an upcoming procedure or you experience anxiety going to the dentist for any reason, talk to us about your dental sedation options. We can help you feel more at least whether you have a tooth pulled or you simply need to have your teeth cleaned. Contact us today!