Knowing more and worrying less about tooth extractions

Dental model and dental equipment on blue background

In our society, people can often have fears about things that are safe and non-threatening. There are many examples of this, some people might be afraid of spiders or clowns for example, and for others, this fear may be more present in terms of worrying about dental treatment. In fact, it is estimated that one in ten people have some level of fear about going to the dentist, and this fear likely increases when considering tooth extractions. However, there is no need to be afraid of tooth extractions if you need one, as this dentist will do everything possible to make sure the process is simple and comfortable. In this article, we’ll take a look at the process behind tooth extractions, and also explore some of the methods that may be available to you to make getting a tooth extraction less nerve-wracking.

Tooth extraction

First, it is important to consider why a tooth extraction may be necessary. There are a good number of reasons for this, for example tooth decay or an infection in the teeth or gums can spread deep into the tooth and/or destroy a large portion of the tooth and surrounding bone, making an extraction necessary. Furthermore, if extra teeth stop your adult teeth from coming through, or if milk teeth are not falling out quickly enough for new teeth to come through, then you may also need an extraction to let your adult teeth through.

There are two types of tooth extraction, a simple extraction and a surgical extraction. Both of these use anaesthetic to numb the area around the mouth and reduce pain (in fact a more complicated surgical extraction may use intravenous anaesthesia – IV).

A simple extraction is for a tooth that can be seen in the mouth. It works using a tool called an elevator to loosen the tooth, and then dental forceps to remove the tooth.

A surgical extraction is for a tooth that may have broken off at the gumline or has not come into the mouth yet and so is less visible. In a surgical extraction, a small cut is made in your gums so that the underlying tooth can be extracted. It may also be necessary to remove bits of the bone around the tooth or possibly cut it in half so that it can be removed.

After treatment, it is important to take particular care with your teeth in line with your dentist’s recommendations. These recommendations may vary between each dentist but for some good general rules, you should limit strenuous activity, avoid drinking through a straw and not drink hot liquids.

Options if you’re feeling nervous


If the prospect of dental treatment does unnerve you, then there are some options that may be available for you if you are having a tooth extraction or possibly for other treatment. Hypnotherapy has been found to be effective at putting your subconscious mind at ease which can help to alleviate gagging, teeth grinding and can make treatment more relaxing.

Furthermore, if you are visiting the dentist for a treatment that is expected to take a long time, then there may be some distraction options available for you. For example, some patients are able to watch TV programmes or films whilst their treatment is taking place.

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