A tooth extraction is the removal of one or more teeth from your mouth. It’s either classified as a simple procedure or a surgical procedure. Both are typically performed under local anesthesia, but the option of conscious sedations like anesthesia is available.
Simple Extraction: A simple extraction is performed on a tooth that is still visible. In a simple extraction, the dentist loosens the tooth with an instrument called an elevator. Then the dentist uses an instrument called a forceps to remove the tooth.
Surgical Extraction: A surgical extraction is a more complex procedure that is used when the tooth may have broken off at the gum line or has not yet come into the mouth. This requires an incision in the gum. It may also require removal of bone tissue, or dissecting the tooth for the patients ease, and finally stitches.
The removal of teeth can be more or less complicated based on each individual case.
Who Needs a Tooth Extraction?
Some of the most common cases for having to extract one or more teeth are:
A tooth has seen significant decay and is either already dead or beyond saving
Supernumerary teeth in the mouth that block other teeth from coming in
In preparation for braces (orthodontics), you may need to remove one or more teeth
Wisdom teeth that are causing pain or otherwise ready to be removed
You’ve been in an accident that caused your teeth to partially break
When a root canal fails
No matter the cause or necessary treatment, all of these symptoms are reasons to visit the dentist. Do not wait for the pain to get worse or for signs that the infection has spread, as this will cause more serious discomfort and tissue damage.
Before removing a tooth, we will consider all possible options. The best scenario is almost always to treat your tooth instead of replacing it with a dental implant.
However, in some cases there is nothing we can do and removing your tooth is the only next step that will help relieve your pain or make other dental procedures possible.
Once your tooth has been extracted the best course of action is often to get an implant or prosthetic if the extraction has left a gap in your mouth. Some patients prefer to wait with getting the implant, but most patients will eventually get an implant if the tooth extraction has left a gap between their teeth. It’s advised to get an immediate implant.
A dental implant will help restore the aesthetics and functionality of your teeth, so eating and overall comfort increases.
Recovery After Tooth Extractions
The complete healing period for a tooth extraction takes 10-14 days.
Any downtime related to tooth extractions is usually limited to 24 hours. It’s possible to return to work within a day or two for most jobs that aren’t too demanding physically, but it depends on your exact situation.
It’s important that you keep your mouth clean, and keep up general oral hygiene in order to prevent infections.
You will receive a complete list of directions for how to take care of your tooth extraction before you leave our office.
Benefits of Teeth Extractions
If a tooth extraction is a last resort, then the extraction will often result in immediate relief from pain and irritation.
If your tooth was infected, it will also ensure that the infection doesn’t spread to other teeth and the myocardial area which can lead to stroke.
Lastly, having a tooth extraction will allow you to commence or complete other dental procedures.
What is the Procedure Like?
Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are often extracted either before or after they come in during the late teens or early 20s. They need to be removed if they are decayed, cause pain, or have a cyst or infection. These teeth often get stuck in the jaw (impacted) and do not come in. This can irritate the gum, causing pain and swelling and resulting in the need to remove the tooth. If you need all four wisdom teeth removed, they are usually taken out at the same time or separately.
Why might a Wisdom Tooth Extraction be needed?
A Wisdom Tooth Extraction can be used to correct an existing problem or as a means of preventing future ones. Some issues that may occur with wisdom teeth and that can be rectified via an extraction include:
- Overcrowding of the back teeth.
- Infection, cysts, and damage to other teeth or bone as a result of the wisdom tooth becoming impacted.
- Gum disease and tooth decay as a result of the difficulty in cleaning wisdom teeth that sit far back in the jaw.
How is a Wisdom Tooth Extraction performed?
Step 1 – The Free Initial Consultation
Your dentist will assess the condition of your oral health to confirm that the extraction can proceed without complications. Panoramic x-rays may be taken to help your dentist decide the best method of removing the tooth. After you have discussed and agreed on a treatment plan, surgery can begin.
Step 2 – The Extraction
Your dentist will begin by numbing the area around the extraction site with anesthetic. If multiple wisdom teeth need to be extracted during one session, a block anesthetic may be used.
Next, your dentist will free surrounding gum tissue over the tooth in the case of an impacted tooth remove any bone adjacent to the tooth.
The tissue connecting tooth to bone is then removed, and finally, the tooth is extracted and the incision is closed with biodegradable stitches.
Step 3- The Aftercare
For the vast majority of patients, wisdom tooth extraction is a quick, hassle-free procedure with minimal downtime. Your dentist may prescribe painkillers, and will also provide instructions to ensure a quick and painless recovery.