If you have ever experienced a toothache, you know how severe the pain is. Sometimes, dentists opt for a tooth extraction, depending on the condition of the tooth. Dr AbduKadir Mamataliev, a dentist at Deva Medical Center-Nyarutarama, says that tooth extraction or pulling a tooth, is a dental procedure where one’s tooth is completely removed from its socket. He says that a tooth extraction has a higher possibility to stop bacteria. Dr Mamataliev is of the view that wisdom teeth could require extraction, the dentist may decide to remove the wisdom teeth if they are causing trouble or are likely to with time, cause damage to the jawbones or if they push other teeth around, resulting in mouth pain and bite issues. He says that wisdom teeth are the last set of adult teeth to grow in, they are also referred to as third molars, and are positioned in the back of the mouth. Experts recommend wisdom teeth removal when these molars’ growth causes sinus pain, pressure, and congestion. According to the American Dental Association, wisdom teeth removal may be necessary if you experience changes in the area of those teeth, such as, pain and repeated infection of soft tissue behind the lower last tooth. Dr Mamataliev further explains that dentists would also recommend tooth removal if you have periodontal disease—this is a serious infection of the gums. Periodontal diseases are in most cases the result of infections and inflammation of the gums and bone that surround and support the teeth, he says. He also says that tooth removal may be an option if the periodontal disease may result in the loosening of a tooth. Dr Mamataliev adds that when your teeth are overcrowded, tooth extraction may be considered. Crowded teeth is a situation when the mouth appears not to have enough room for all of one’s teeth. He notes that overcrowded teeth start during childhood when the gums and teeth are developing and can continue into adulthood if not treated and can lead to oral health complications. The dental expert explains that overcrowding is caused when the teeth and the jaw are out of normal proportions, and since they are pushed too tightly together, they become a place for old food, yet difficult to clean. This can trigger tooth decay and halitosis (bad breath). “In case of impacted teeth, dentists may recommend tooth extraction. These are teeth that are unable to emerge (erupt) properly from the gum. But also a deep infection in a tooth, a broken tooth and orthodontic reasons would cause experts to advise teeth removal procedure,” Dr Mamataliev states. He says that in cases where your tooth hurts you when you chew, or pushes on flesh and other teeth, the pain would be excessive to handle if you put much pressure on it, so removing such a tooth may be a relief. How to prepare for tooth extraction Dr Mamataliev says that the dentist is expected to sit down with you during consultation and discuss your concerns, if there are any personal conditions they need to know about. The dentist may want to know if you have some conditions before the procedure, some of these may include; hypertension, artificial joint, renal disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, and others. According to the Cleveland Clinic, your dentist will assess your affected tooth and surrounding gums and will also take dental X-rays to check bone levels and determine the extent of damage. Be sure to tell your dentist about any medications, vitamins or supplements you’re taking. Once all information is gathered, treatment and sedation options will be discussed with you in detail. Dr Mamataliev explains that patients shouldn’t be worried about pain because dentists use local anaesthesia and sophisticated tools that make the procedure not only pain-free, but also fast. He also says that proper oral hygiene should be maintained, for example, he urges brushing your teeth the night before the surgery and on the day of the extraction. After the extraction, he advises rinsing with mouthwash or saltwater 24 hours after the procedure. That’s if you notice less bleeding, after having meals. This can be done two to three times a day. Dr Mamataliev encourages abstaining from smoking after the operation, as smoking increases the risk of infection and tooth decay.