Pulling teeth - or dental extractions as they are properly called - is one of the oral health services that gets a seriously bad rap. In fact, the idea of getting a tooth pulled is so scary to some that it's one of the number one reasons they put off going to see a dentist when toothache strikes; a fear of the pull.
To be fair, the term 'pulling teeth' sounds pretty painful. That's why dentists really don't like it. A modern dental extraction is not a painful, terrifying experience at all, but we understand that some need a little extra convincing. So let's take a look at just how a dental extraction works in the 21st century.
How Does a Dental Extraction Work?
How can it not hurt to get a tooth extracted? That's a fair question we'd expect to hear. Back in the day, before dental technology was as good as it is today, getting a tooth pulled could indeed be a painful, somewhat bloody process. Today, it's a matter of the application of a numbing cream, the administration of a simple, safe local anesthetic, the extraction of the tooth, which in the hands of a skilled and experienced dentist literally takes seconds, and the application of a little gauze to the former site of the tooth to stem any bleeding and aid rapid blood clotting. It's all over in a matter of minutes and if the now removed tooth was causing the patient pain - which very often it was - that pain is gone and they will be on the road to better oral health overall right away.
Oh, and by the way, the term pulling a tooth is really misleading. There really is very little pulling involved. In fact if you were to attempt to pull your own tooth, and you took a pair of pliers and pulled at the offending tooth, you would find that it does not come out unless you bench 250. Why? Because any tooth is 'glued' into its socket by tiny ligament fibres that anchor it into the jaw. To remove the tooth a dentist gently loosens these fibres and 'pops' the tooth out, no yanking required. As he or she does so, you will very likely feel pressure, but, in the hands of a skilled dentist, that pressure should not become pain, even if the tooth is a little bit stubborn and tries to hold on (which some do.)
When Is a Dental Extraction Needed?
Now that you have a better understanding of what to expect during a dental extraction we need to move on to the next issue, when does a dentist decide to recommend a dental extraction? In a word, as a last resort. Once you remove a tooth it's gone for good, so doing so is not a decision to be taken lightly. A good dentist will recommend trying all other available avenues - often a root canal - before suggesting a dental extraction. Sometimes, however, there is just nothing to be done and removal is the very best option. Your dentist will explain why, and then, because dentistry has come so far so fast, discuss with you the possible options for replacement, with a crown or implant.
Emergency Dentist Sydney Says:
Dentists don't actually relish pulling teeth, it's our job to try and save them, but when we can't we make the extraction process as easy and comfortable as possible.