The idea of having one or more teeth removed can cause a lot of anxiety. Extractions are some of the most dreaded procedures at dentists’ offices, yet a lot of the fear surrounding the practice stems from ongoing myths about outdated techniques and procedures.
So to calm your nerves before your appointment, here are four of the most common myths about tooth extractions.
Dentists tend to opt for extractions first. Though at one point in time, pulling a tooth was the best way to stop decay from spreading, today technology has advanced enough to present many other options for repairing dental problems. Oral surgery is usually considered a last resort and only used if damage or decay has rendered a tooth irreparable.
Extraction will leave you with a gap in your smile. No, having a tooth pulled does not create a space that will remain empty for the rest of your life. If you must have a permanent tooth removed, dental implants can take the place of natural teeth, restoring function and improving the look of your smile. In fact, 3 million people currently have dental implants, and that number is growing by 500,000 each year.
Wisdom tooth extraction is always necessary. Wisdom tooth removal is a procedure performed on 5 million Americans each year. While it is not uncommon for adults to have their wisdom teeth extracted because there is usually only enough room in the mouth for 28 teeth, it is not always necessary. Only when the wisdom teeth are at risk of becoming impacted do they need to be removed. Impaction occurs when the teeth don’t have enough room to erupt and become trapped under the gums. This can lead to infections and damage to surrounding teeth. Fortunately, a tooth’s growth pattern can be tracked by x-rays to determine if wisdom tooth extraction will be necessary.
Tooth extraction is very painful. Before anesthetic was commonly used and dental tools were as precise and effective as they are now, extraction could cause a lot of pain and agony. Fortunately, that is no longer the case. Dentists use a variety of anesthesia techniques to eliminate discomfort and anxiety.
There is no need to stress over tooth extraction. It’ll be over before you know it, and your dentist and support staff will do everything they can to make you feel comfortable and pain free.