Dental extractions mean removing the tooth from its place in the bone. Extractions are done in dental offices by the dentist or dental surgeon (a dentist with surgery specialization), under local or general anesthesia. Professional extractions are recommended when the tooth decay is severe, and nothing can be done to save the tooth, when the tooth is affected by infection or is vulnerable to infection, because of a gum disease or a health condition.
Type of tooth extractions
There are two main types of extractions, influenced by the complexity of the procedure:
- Simple extraction: The dentist uses the elevator to loosen up the tooth, followed by forceps to remove it completely. In more complicated cases, the tooth may be removed in pieces for patient’s comfort. The simple extraction is performed exclusively under local anesthesia.
- Surgical extraction: It is performed by the dental surgeon and it is used only in cases where simple extraction is not possible. When only one tooth must be removed through this procedure, a local anesthetic is used. When two or more teeth need to be extracted, the extraction procedure is performed under general anesthesia for patient’s comfort.
Preparation for dental extraction
A full report on patient’s health condition and an X-ray of the targeted tooth are necessary for any safe tooth extraction. A wisdom tooth extraction may require a full mouth X-ray to see the exact position of the tooth and its connection with the neighboring tooth. When the patient has a cold or has symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, extractions are not recommended. Also, antibiotics may be prescribed prior to the procedure to avoid infection during the intervention.
The patient is recommended not to smoke on the day of the extraction to avoid complications.
Regardless of the type of extraction performed, the main steps are the same: anesthetic to numb the area, tooth loosening, and tooth removal. A blood clot forms in the remaining socket. To stop the bleeding, the dentist asks the patient to bite down on a gauze pad. A few resorbing stitches close the socket and end the procedure.
Post-procedure extraction care
After the extraction, it is necessary to follow the dentist’s instructions. There are few rules that each patient must apply after such a procedure:
- Take painkillers and antibiotics as prescribed
- Do not smoke or reduce the number of cigarettes as possible as it may inhibit healing
- Refrain from spitting, rinse forcefully or drink with a straw in the first 24 hours to avoid dislocating the blood clot formed in the socket
- Eat mainly soft food after the procedure. Introduce solid food gradually and avoid biting and chewing on the affected side to prevent high pressure on the exposed gum;
- Follow normal dental hygiene procedures carefully to prevent infection. Avoid crushing too vigorously near the extraction area to avoid irritation.
- Rest for the day or until the anesthetic fades off
A tooth extraction should not be painful, and if the patient experiences pain during the procedure, the patient should let the dentist so he can make adjustments. If the patient experiences severe pain and bleeding that does not stop after the first 24 hours from the procedure, contact our office for further instructions.