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Tooth Extractions And Procedures

Ad Min - Monday, January 21, 2019

Tooth extraction does not happen only when one is growing up. Teeth are pulled out during adolescent years as milk teeth fall out or they need to be extracted so permanent teeth can take their position. This process is definitely needed in adult life as well – teeth may need to be extracted for a variety of reasons – wisdom tooth removal, tooth decay and overcrowded teeth etc. are some of the reasons that warrant tooth extraction.

Tooth Extractions And Procedures

Tooth extraction is done for both children and adults. For children usually extraction is done when orthodontic treatment is planned. Some would have many teeth for the size of the jaw structure they have. Then teeth need to be pulled out to have corrected and properly aligned teeth. This is also done for adults. Some children might also not have baby teeth in its correct position. If this happens, then permanent teeth will not come out in its proper position – for this reason also, extraction is carried out.

Children engage in contact sports and this can lead to teeth being chipped or broken – then if teeth cannot be saved or it causes damage to the remaining teeth – then extraction is recommended by dentists. Adults also experience chips in their teeth – this can be due to engaging in contact sports or when one bites on hard food like nuts. The pressure experienced can create cracks in the teeth, if this makes the teeth damaged beyond repair then teeth extraction is suggested.

Understanding tooth extraction

Extraction is done in people who wear corrective braces – in this procedure the braces correct and align the teeth to their exact position. This would result in teeth being pushed back. If there is not enough space in the mouth, then dentists would recommend removing one or two teeth.

Tooth decay also results in removing the damaged teeth from its socket. If left untreated, the infection or decay can spread to the neighbouring teeth or the gums. This can lead to the gum structure being affected and initiate gum diseases. Bad breath, change in the jaw bone structure can also result if tooth decay is left unattended.

Impacted teeth is another reason why tooth extraction needs to be done. In some cases, the tooth is unable to break out or come out from its place and it continues to remain in the gums. In this situation, the dentist will definitely recommend tooth extraction in this case. Besides the above reasons, tooth extraction is also carried out after an accident or sports injury. Extraction is conducted as the last resort and is done to preserve dental health.

Procedure for extraction

Tooth extraction is assumed to be simple extraction or surgical extraction according to the process it is carried out. A simple extraction is conducted under local anaesthesia – where only the areas surrounding the tooth that is extracted is made numb. The procedure does not take much time.

In surgical extraction – the process is a bit more complex. It might be carried out under anaesthesia – general or intravenous anaesthesia is administered depending on the procedure. The tooth is removed after the gum is cut, this usually happens in the case of wisdom tooth which is impacted. Sometimes, the bone tissue might also need to be cut to extract the tooth.

After the tooth is extracted, there would be blood clot formed in the area. Dentists will provide a gauze to be placed in the area to stop further bleeding. Or, in other cases, they might place stitches for the wound to heal.

Precautions after extraction

Tooth extraction will cause pain and discomfort for a few days. Dentists will prescribe pain killers to tide over the pain. Applying an ice pack over the swelling on the cheek helps to reduce the swelling. Care should be taken while consuming food – using straws for the first 24 hours should be avoided. Using straws will put pressure on the wound area – the clot that is formed in the extraction area will loosen and slow down the healing process. Taking soft food will help and will also not put any strain in the area.

While resting, take care to put the head at an elevated position. This will help the wound to heal faster. Brushing should be done carefully as it can irritate the area where extraction has happened. Smoking also should be avoided until the wound is healed. Rinsing the mouth with tepid salt water will greatly help in soothing the area and help in faster healing.

The teeth that are next to the teeth extracted might experience teeth sensitivity. This will last only for a few days and will fade away. As anaesthesia is given for the treatment, the oral region would feel numb for few hours or a few days depending on which anaesthesia was given. Care must be taken when hot food is consumed during this time as that area might get burn and it might not be felt as the area is numb.
Brushing and flossing should be continued as normal, remember to avoid the area where extraction took place. Pain is normal after extraction, this will subside after few hours. If it does not then it is important that medical help from the dentist is sought. Healing will take some time for the tissues to grow and become as before.

If extraction is carried out for children, then it is important that parents give extra care to the child till the effect from anaesthesia wears off. Taking care of the food consumed by them should also be monitored. While brushing and flossing, parents should help the children to make sure they do not put extra pressure on the area where teeth extraction has been carried.

Checking with the dentists on all the precautions to be taken after teeth extraction should be done during dental consultations. If there are any doubts or concerns regarding the process or if medicines are consumed for any health conditions – all this should be informed to the dentists during the consultations.

Dental X-Rays - Are They Safe?

Ad Min - Tuesday, January 01, 2019

When you go to a dentist, you may sometimes be asked to take a dental x-ray so that the condition of your teeth and gums can be assessed. Dental x-rays are very common as a diagnostic procedure and they are considered very safe. Modern digital dental x-rays are extremely safe because they have very low doses of radiation. Compared to the amount of radiation that you would be exposed to another imaging procedures, dental x-rays produce only very limited doses of radiation.

If your dentist has asked you to take a dental x-ray and you are worried about whether it is safe and whether you should follow the procedure because of some other conditions such as pregnancy, it can help to understand what dental x-rays really are the reasons why an x-ray is prescribed, and how they are usually handled.

X-rays are generally performed with safety precautions in place. So there is absolutely no reason for you to worry. If you want to do a routine dental examination with four bite-wing x-rays, you will not be exposed to more radiation then what you would experience during a two hour aeroplane ride.

When do you need a dental x-ray?

A dental x-ray is usually suggested by a dentist for diagnostic reason. They help dentist see all the dental problems very clearly. Some issues that are invisible to the naked eye can be revealed using x-rays. When a patient receives dental x-rays, it allows the dentist to see the following.

  • Is there bone loss which may have been caused by gum disease?
  • Which are the areas of tooth decay? Is there a decay between teeth or under an existing filling?
  • Are there any abscesses or infections that are present at the root of the tooth?
  • Are there any signs of tumours or cancers?
  • Has an infection progressed to such a stage as to require root canal procedure?

Without a dental x-ray, your healthcare provider may not be able to diagnose many of these problems. With an x-ray, the dentist is well equipped to really understand what is going on with the teeth, and they can also prepare dental implants, braces, dentures, and other dental accessories to perfectly fit your teeth and mouth.

What is a child needs a dental x-ray?

If you have a child who needs a dental x-ray, it is only natural to be concerned. Children are more sensitive to radiation than adults. However, there is absolutely no reason to worry. The amount of radiation emitted during the dental x-ray is still within the safe limits even for a child.

The jaws and the teeth of a child are constantly undergoing changes. Therefore, it is very important to keep a close watch on how the teeth and jaw are developing. X-rays are very important for diagnosing dental conditions accurately in young patients. A dental x-ray can help the dentist understand the following:

  • It can help the dentist ensure that the mouth of the child is large enough to accommodate all the new teeth that are coming in
  • It can help monitor the wisdom tooth that is coming in, and take adequate precautions if it is likely to cause problems
  • A dental x-ray will help understand weather the milk teeth is giving way to the permanent teeth
  • A dental x-ray will also help identify gum diseases and tooth decay at the earliest stage

Should you get a dental x-ray during pregnancy?

If you are pregnant, that is one condition where it is generally advisable to avoid all sorts of x-rays including dental x-ray. Even though the radiation is very minimal, it may be best to avoid exposure to any type of x-rays to ensure the health of the foetus. If you are pregnant, make sure that you inform your dental practitioner about this because it will help them modify the diagnostic and treatment options based on this information.

There may be some instances where pregnant women are still advised to get dental x-rays. If there is some dental emergency, you may need to get an x-ray. If there is some concern that outweighs the slight risk of a dental x-ray, then it is advisable to get an x-ray which will aid in proper diagnosis and treatment.

Also remember that women who have poor gum health have higher risk of adverse outcomes in pregnancy. Therefore, it is extremely important that you take care of your dental health throughout your pregnancy.

If at all you need an x-ray during the pregnancy, your dental practitioners will take or precautions possible. A thyroid collar and the lead apron will be used during the x-ray.

Safety precautions

There are many safety precautions that you can take to minimise the risk of x-rays. Speak to your dentist about whether she can use the lowest radiation setting possible especially if the x-ray is for children. If you are worried about exposing certain parts of your body certain parts of your body from to radiation, ask about lead aprons that can be draped over the body.

Get x-rays done only when it is absolutely necessary. There is no schedule or routine to follow for dental x-rays, it is done only when it is necessary. It is best to leave the decision to your dentist.

Dental x-rays are considered very safe. However, it is wise to remember that any x-ray procedure exposes you to a certain amount of radiation, and therefore you should be careful not to undergo an x-ray without adequate reason. Sometimes, you can provide exercise from my previous dentist to your new dentist in order to minimise the need for taking new x-rays.


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