A dental extraction (also referred to as tooth extraction, exodontia, exodontics, or informally, tooth pulling) is the removal of teeth from the dental alveolus (socket) in the alveolar bone in situations where a tooth is beyond saving.
Reasons of Tooth Extraction?
The most common reason for extraction is tooth damage due to breakage or decay. There are additional reasons for tooth extraction, if your dentist recommends this treatment, it is likely that you’ll have one of the following problems:
- Teeth with root fracture due to trauma
- Teeth with fracture lines due to trauma
- A broken tooth, or one that’s irreparable
- Too many teeth (also referred to as crowding)
- A decaying tooth, or a tooth that can’t be saved with endodontics
- Supernumerary teeth which are blocking other teeth from coming in.
- Severe gum disease which leads to bone loss and making the teeth wobbly.
- Wisdom teeth removal (wisdom teeth themselves being painful or damaging the next-door tooth due to their odd position).
- Teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
- Prophylactically for patients who are about to undergo radiotherapy, teeth with poor long-term prognosis are taken before the start of radiotherapy.
- The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.
To avoid these complications, in most cases, Dentist will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.
Types of Extraction
Extractions are often categorized as “simple” or “surgical”.
Simple Extractions are performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth, usually under local anaesthetic, and require only the use of instruments to elevate and/or grasp the visible portion of the tooth. Typically the tooth is lifted using an elevator, and using dental forceps, rocked back and forth until the periodontal ligament has been sufficiently broken and the supporting alveolar bone has been adequately widened to make the tooth loose enough to remove. Typically, when teeth are removed with forceps, slow, steady pressure is applied with controlled force.
Surgical Extractions involve the removal of teeth that cannot be easily accessed, either because they have broken under the gum line or because they have not erupted fully. Surgical extractions almost always require an incision. In a surgical extraction the doctor may elevate the soft tissues covering the tooth and bone and may also remove some of the overlying and/or surrounding jawbone tissue with a drill or osteotome. Frequently, the tooth may be split into multiple pieces to facilitate its removal. Surgical extractions are usually performed under a general anaesthetic.
What to Expect with Tooth Extraction
- Dentists and oral surgeons (dentists with special training to perform surgery) perform tooth extractions. During your tooth extraction appointment, dentist will have a digital X-rays which enables him to carry out comprehensive diagnostics prior to any teeth extractions.
- Your dentist will use a local anaesthetic to make sure the area being treated is fully numb, so you won’t feel any discomfort. If you’re nervous about the anaesthetic, speak to your dentist about the other options available, like sedation, and they’ll be able to recommend the most suitable.
- In order to remove your tooth, your dentist might need to take a little gum or bone tissue away first, especially when it’s impacting the tooth needing to be removed. This is particularly common with wisdom teeth. Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, your dentist will use dental forceps to remove your tooth. This is done by moving the tooth back and forth to detach it.
- Once the tooth has been fully removed, your dentist will use gauze to stop any bleeding, and use stitches to repair the gap should this be necessary. The whole treatment shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes.
- Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction.
- Avoid use of a straw, smoking or hot liquids.
Sectioning a Tooth
Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.
Post Extraction Home Care
Remember, when having an extraction, today’s modern procedures and follow up care (as recommended by your dentist) are there for your benefit and comfort. Once you’ve had a tooth extraction, here are some tips to follow to make recovery easier:
Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 45 minutes can control this. If you notice your extraction area bleeding persistently after 24 hours, get in touch with your dentist for advice.
Blood Clots That Form in The Empty Socket
This is an important part of the healing process and you must be careful not to dislodge the clot.
If swelling occurs you can place ice on your face for 10 minutes and off for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours.
Pain and Medications
Take painkillers prescribed your dentist If you experience discomfort.
For most extractions just make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A liquid diet may be recommended for 24 hours.
Brushing and Cleaning
After the extraction avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. After that you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the site. Beginning 24 hours after the extraction you can rinse with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed.
Dry socket occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged, and the healing is significantly delayed.
Following the post extraction instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain, which doesn’t appear until three or four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry. Dentist will apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to soothe the pain.
After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. However, after 1-2 weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience.
Take Care of Your Dental Emergency Now!
If you are suffering from a dental emergency, get in touch with us immediately so we can help to protect you from dental complications or risk of permanent damage and relieve you from dental pain. Book an Appointment Today–Because Pain Can’t Wait!