What is dental extraction?
It is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. It can be simple or surgical procedure.
Reasons for extracting a tooth:
Broken or damaged teeth by decay that cannot be restored and therefore cannot be saved.
Teeth that are heavily decayed, cause pain or have a cyst or infection.
A radiograph is taken prior the procedure to assess roots and how heavily damaged/decayed the tooth is.
Medical History is taken to ensure the procedure can be done safely in the surgery.
There are two types of extractions, i.e, simple and surgical:
- Simple extraction is performed on a tooth that can be seen in the mouth. In a simple extraction, the dentist loosens the tooth with an instrument called an elevator then an instrument called forceps to remove the tooth.
- A surgical extraction is a more complex procedure and usually done by an oral surgeon.
The patient can expect some discomfort after even simple extractions. Usually it is mild.
Your dentist will give you detailed instructions on what to do after the procedure, such as:
- The use of anti-‐inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen can greatly decrease pain after a tooth extraction.
- Application of ice packs on the face to reduce swelling.
- Eat soft and cold food for a few days.
- Gentle rinse with warm salt water, started 24 hours after the surgery can help with the healing.
- No smoking for 24 to 72 hours (smoking could cause dry socket, see below).
- No spitting out or vigorous rinse.
- Dry Socket: this occurs when a blood clot does not form in the hole or the blood clot beaks off or breaks down too early (usually happens when patient smokes on the first few days after the procedure).
- Infection, bleeding, swelling, bruising.
- Accidental damage to the inferior alveolar nerve causing long lasting numbness in the lower lip and chin. This is rare and complete healing may take three to six months. The numbness may be permanent but this is very uncommon.
- The fracture of the tooth/root during the procedure requiring subsequent surgical procedure.