Fri. Dec 8th, 2023

While preserving natural teeth is always the goal, there are times when a tooth must be removed. This could be due to damage, decay & even crowding.

The procedure is done under local anesthetic & is usually quite painless. The dentist loosens the tooth removal in the gum with a tool called an elevator then removes it with dental forceps. The empty socket is packed with medical gauze to stop bleeding.

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Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a disease that destroys enamel, the hard outer layer of a tooth. It is important to prevent tooth decay by visiting a dentist regularly for teeth cleanings and treating any bacterial plaque before it damages enamel. Untreated tooth decay can spread to the inside of a tooth (pulp), causing a painful abscess.

When a tooth decay is caught in its early stages, a fluoride treatment can reverse the damage and encourage enamel to repair itself. When cavities reach deeper in a tooth, dentists can fill the hole with a material like composite resin, glass ionomer, or silver amalgam. Tooth decay most often occurs in the back teeth (molars and premolars), which have lots of nooks and crannies that can collect food particles and germs. A cavity can enlarge enough to press against the nerves running through the jawbone, causing pain and possibly even a dangerous infection called sepsis. If a tooth is severely damaged by decay, a root canal may be required.

Tooth Trauma

Tooth trauma or injury is a serious problem and needs immediate treatment to prevent permanent damage. This can occur due to accidents, falls or direct impact to the teeth and gums. Depending on the severity, the tooth may be completely knocked out, dislodged or cracked. A dentist or endodontist should be consulted as quickly as possible to assess and treat the tooth’s condition.

If a tooth is completely knocked out, try to retrieve it and place it back in the socket with light pressure. Rinse it with water if necessary but do not scrub or remove any attached tissue fragments. If the tooth is unable to be re-implanted, the patient should go to an emergency dentist or oral surgeon immediately. Until you reach the dentist, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Untreated Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the most common dental issues that requires prompt treatment from a dentist. If gum disease is not treated it can progress from gingivitis to periodontitis, which can cause severe damage to the teeth and jaw bone. This condition has been linked to other health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, and it shows as swollen gums that might bleed while chewing or brushing. This early stage of gum disease is typically treatable with a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) to remove bacteria, and daily oral hygiene to reduce the risk of infection.

For more advanced cases of gum disease, your dentist may perform flap surgery to lift the gum tissue and clean the roots. This procedure may also include the use of antibiotics to fight infection and reduce the size of pockets around your teeth. This treatment is often performed along with other non-surgical gum disease treatments.

Impacted Teeth

A person may need to have a tooth removed if it becomes infected and antibiotics or root canal therapy (RCT) fail to treat the infection. In some cases, the pulp — the center of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels — may die, leading to a bacterial infection in the jaw bone that can spread to the rest of the body.More on BellaViso.

An impacted tooth is one that fails to erupt as it should because of dense gum tissue, bone, or a misalignment. Wisdom teeth are the most common impacted teeth, but any tooth can become impacted.

After numbing the area with local anesthetic, the dentist cuts away gum and bone tissue that cover the site of the tooth to expose the underlying tooth socket. The doctor then removes the tooth. The dentist usually places a piece of gauze in the socket to control bleeding and encourage clotting. The doctor may also place a few self-dissolving stitches in the area after the removal to close the gum edges over the extraction site.

By Scarlett Watson

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