Aside from a root canal treatment, tooth extraction is another treatment that many dental patients fear. You can save yourself some of this anxiety by learning about what goes on during an extraction. Here are a few things you should know:
A tooth extraction can be painful, so the dentist will first administer an appropriate pain management treatment. In routine tooth extractions where only a single tooth is to be extracted, the dentist will just inject you with local anesthesia.
Expanding the Socket
The next step involves widening the socket that encases the tooth so that it can be easily pulled out without much effort; using too much effort would damage nearby tissues. Expanding the socket involves rocking your problematic tooth back and forth using a suitable tool such as an elevator.
If using the elevator, the dentist will insert it between your tooth and surrounding jawbone. He or she will then use the elevator to rock (gently your tooth). The back and forth motion enlarges the socket because the jawbone around the tooth root is a bit spongy.
Removing the Tooth
If the tooth was much damaged, then the dentist may succeed in dislodging it with the elevator alone. In some cases, however, he or she has to resort to extraction forceps to pull out the teeth. Shaped like a pair of pliers, the dentist will use the forceps to continue rocking the tooth back and forth while also twisting it until it comes out. He won't just yank it out, as some people think.
Once the tooth is out, the last step is to clean and close up the wound. The closing up procedures depend on how damaged the surrounding tissues are. Apart from using a piece of gauze to soak up the blood, the dentist may also wash out the socket to remove pieces of broken tissues, scrape the walls of the socket and stitch the frayed edges of the gum. After that, you just place gauze over the extraction site, put pressure on it by biting down on it, and you are done.
Possible Feelings During the Process
You shouldn't, and aren't likely, to experience any pain during the extraction process. If you do feel pain, inform the dentist so that he or she can increase the anesthesia dosage. You may also hear some snapping noises as your tooth's root breaks. However, expect to feel some level of pressure when the dentist tugs on your tooth.
If you have any specific fears, do talk to your dentist about them. He or she may know of ways or treatments that he or she may use to assuage them or even offer you an explanation to put your mind at ease.