Falls Church Dentist Shares What Happens to Your Extracted Teeth
Over 20 million teeth are pulled at the dentist’s office each year in America. With all those tooth extractions, do you ever wonder where the teeth go? There is no tooth fairy waiting at the dentist office to whisk them away. Here are some of the things that might occur after you have a tooth extracted.
Sometimes They Go Home
While most people assume the teeth will go with them, this isn’t usually true. The dentist has to follow local, state and federal guidelines regarding tooth disposal.
Teeth contain saliva, blood and tissue so it’s considered medical waste. This means that most times it cannot be given to the patient. If you feel that you should have the tooth, you’ll need to discuss this with the dentist prior to extraction.
If the extracted tooth doesn’t have metal fillings, then the CDC requires it to be treated as infectious waste. The teeth are placed in a hazardous waste container and then incinerated once it’s picked up at the dental office.
The CDC has different guidelines for teeth containing metal fillings. Because the metal might release toxic fumes during incineration, they need to be sent to a specialized recycling center instead. The dentist then receives a small amount of money because of the metal.
If you think that taking your own teeth to the recycler will make you rich, think again. You would need pounds of teeth just to get a few dollars.
Extracted teeth are also sent to dental schools for education purposes. It’s a fantastic way for a dental student to practice some new skills. If your dentist teaches at a school, they will often take the teeth with them for demonstration.
Whatever the reasoning for having a tooth pulled, you don’t want what happens afterward to stop you from getting treatment. Delaying treatment only leads to further complications and greater decay. Discuss any apprehension you have about extraction and allow your Falls Church dentist to ease your worries. Having your tooth extracted is often a quick and painless procedure, so there’s nothing to fear.