Tooth Extraction

What is Teeth Extraction?

The procedure of removing teeth from their sockets located in the bone is called Teeth Extraction. This is opted by the dentists when the teeth have undergone too much damage and they cannot be treated or repaired by any of the dental treatments available.

Is tooth extraction necessary?

The dentist might recommend the extraction of a single tooth or multiple teeth for the following reasons:

  • Presence of extra teeth that is blocking new teeth from coming out of the gums.
  • To remove baby teeth that did not fall out in time for the permanent teeth to come.
  • To create room for the teeth to be moved into position for patients getting braces.
  • For the teeth that are in the line of radiation when radiation is applied to the patient’s head and neck.
  • Cancer patients might contract infection in their teeth due to the weakening of the immune system by the cancer drugs being administered to them.
  • If there are infected teeth present after an organ transplant operation.
  • Wisdom teeth might need to be removed if they are infected or decayed. It can cause irritation to the gums, pain and swelling ensues.

Types of Teeth Extraction

There are two main types of Teeth Extraction procedures and they are:

  • Simple Tooth Extraction:

    This procedure is usually performed for the teeth that are visible in the mouth. The dentist would first loosen the teeth with a dental instrument called Elevator. Then the teeth are removed by using forceps.

Dentists might conduct this type of extraction by administering local anaesthesia to the patient, right before the procedure begins.

  • Surgical Tooth Extraction

    This procedure is opted by dentists usually for the extraction of the wisdom tooth or for teeth that might have broken off at the gum line or for teeth that had not yet erupted in the mouth.

It is a complicated procedure. The dental surgeon will first make a tiny incision into the gum to remove the broken teeth or the wisdom tooth surgically. In some cases, it might be necessary to remove some part of the bone around the teeth or the teeth might have to be cut in half to extract it.

The surgeon might administer general anaesthesia to the patient before the procedure intravenously. The surgeon might suggest steroids and other medications intravenously to help reduce the pain and swelling during the procedure.

Post Dental Extraction Procedure

The dentist will provide the patient with information on how to handle the situation after the extraction. The dentist might provide some medications like NSAID (non-steroid inflammatory drugs) to reduce the pain that remains after the extraction.

Surgical extractions would require cutting of the skin and this cannot dry out and form scabs. So the dentist would first ask the patient to bite on a piece of gauze for half an hour. This is done because the pressure exerted will allow the blood to clot.

The patient is recommended to use icepacks for at least 20 minutes to control and reduce the swelling. Warm compresses are suggested if the jaw is sore and stiff.

The patient is recommended to eat soft and cool foods for a few days or any food is comfortable.

Patients are suggested to take a gentle rinse with warm salty water right from the next day of surgery to clean the area. The dentists usually use stitches that dissolve on their own and this might take a couple of weeks. This rinsing will help in dissolving of stitches too.

Authored By Dr Sanjay N - Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Bangalore

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