Tooth extraction… Nobody dreams of reaching this point where their tooth has no other chance but being pulled out. When is an extraction really needed? What is required to do or to avoid after the procedure? Is it always that painful?
We asked 5596 respondents globally to share their opinions about popular myths and facts on the topic. See what they think on matters such as:
… and more!
#1: Tooth extraction means removing the tooth without its root: MYTH
It is surprising to find out that many people – 23% of DentaVox respondents – believe that extracting a tooth means removing just the crown of it, not the roots.
In fact, tooth extractions involve the removal of the entire tooth. More often than not, the severe inflammations that cause the need for extraction (instead of a root canal treatment) lay exactly in the root or the tissue around it.
#2: Extractions are sometimes needed for orthodontic treatments: FACT
The majority of DentaVox survey participants (84%) are well aware of the possible need for extraction before starting orthodontic treatment.
Regardless of the chosen orthodontic device – braces, aligners, or another – your dentist may recommend an extraction in case of teeth crowding. This way, they free enough space for the perfect alignment of your other teeth.
#3: Applying ice on the affected area after extraction reduces the swelling: FACT
Ice is famous for its anti-swelling properties. That is why it also comes in handy after tooth extraction. And most of our interviewees (76%) are familiar with this fact.
What else is recommended to do after tooth removal? See the image below.
#4: Extractions require a long recovery: MYTH
Have you heard of someone who’d been delaying extraction due to inability to take a week off work? Yes, we have, too. Nearly half of DentaVox respondents believe that extractions require a long recovery period.
Although discomfort may be experienced for the first week, dentists share that usually, it takes 1-2 days for most patients to return to their normal daily activities. That doesn’t mean that the healing process is over, though. Follow your post-operative recommendations diligently to ensure proper healing.
#5: High fever after a tooth extraction is normal: MYTH
An alarming share of survey participants (one-third of all) do believe that high fever is nothing to worry about after tooth removal.
Fever indicates infection and although a low-grade fever may be expected, if your body temperature is above 38°C or lower but continues for a few days, call your dentist immediately.
#6: Antibiotics may be prescribed after tooth extraction: FACT
Speaking of fever, a lot of dentists nowadays prescribe antibiotics exactly for the reason of avoiding post-extraction complications. Over 85% of DentaVox survey respondents are aware of this fact.
However, in the scientific fields, there are concerns in regards to the routine prescription of antibiotics due to the risk of developing resistance and other adverse effects.
#7: Alcohol helps the healing after tooth extraction: MYTH
Although 16% of survey participants believe alcohol helps the healing, it can actually have tremendously bad effects on it.
When a tooth is extracted, a blood clot is formed in the area of the surgery. Its purpose is to cover the nerves and prevent bacteria from entering. Alcohol can stop blood clot formation or dislodge it and therefore puts you at great risk of infection and dry socket. Give it a miss for at least a week. Here is what else to avoid.
#8: Blood thinners must be stopped before tooth extraction: FACT
Nearly 40% of interviewees are unaware of the fact that blood-thinning medications are often stopped before tooth extraction as they may lead to extensive bleeding during the operation or hinder the healing process.
If you take blood thinners, always inform your dentist about it during the initial consultation. They may recommend stopping them entirely or finding a safer alternative.
#9: Tooth extractions are always painful: MYTH
The majority of DentaVox respondents (58%) believe that there is no way to avoid pain during tooth extraction. Modern dentistry disagrees.
On top of the minimally invasive extraction methods used nowadays, advanced anesthetics used alone or in combination put patients at ease during the procedure. More discomfort and pain are usually felt after the extraction but it can be managed with prescribed painkillers.
Look for a dentist who is specialized in tooth extractions – it is more likely that they have adapted their treatment process to the latest dental realms.
#10: Replacing an extracted tooth is not necessary: MYTH
One-third of DentaVox survey participants do not see any need in replacing a pulled tooth.
Experts warn against this misconception. If you do not replace a missing tooth with a bridge or an implant-supported crown, it may cause your other teeth to start moving and misalign. Moreover, the jawbone starts to deteriorate if not supported properly which then affects your appearance, ability to chew and speak correctly, as well as your general health and wellbeing.
Of course, sometimes a tooth extraction is intended and tooth replacement is not needed (for example, before orthodontic treatments). Consult your dentists for the best treatment options in your specific case.
Which of those myths and facts were you aware of?
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Stats source: DentaVox
20 Questions: Tooth Extraction
Base: 5596 respondents (global sample)