A tooth extraction is the removal of one or more teeth from their dental socket. They are performed for many reasons, but they are primarily necessary when a tooth has sustained serious damage, such as the presence of a dental injury or tooth decay. However, other reasons for an extraction may be preparation for orthodontic work (such as braces or a full or partial denture) or if a wisdom tooth is failing to erupt through the gums. Tooth extraction is a common and straightforward dental procedure, and we here at Mountain State Oral and Facial Surgery will make sure you are completely comfortable throughout the entire process.
Why Go Through a Tooth Extraction Procedure?
In general, teeth that are broken or decaying can often get a filling, crown, or other similar dental treatment. When the damage is too severe to repair, though, we may recommend an extraction. An extraction is also recommended when the decay has progressed deeper into the tooth and the tooth cannot be salvaged. We may also recommend an extraction if an infection has damaged a large part of the tooth or the surrounding bone. When baby teeth do not fall out in time for the permanent teeth to come in, or there is not enough room for all the teeth in your mouth, then extraction may also be required.
Process and Types of Tooth Extraction
To prepare you for an extraction, we will first go through your medical and dental history with you. Then, if it is necessary, we will take appropriate x-rays of the affected site. With these x-rays, we can then estimate the degree of difficulty to advise what type of extraction would be best for you.
There are two types of dental extractions. A simple extraction would be recommended if the tooth is still visible above the gums and we can remove it in one piece. We would administer a local anesthetic to numb the area around your tooth. Then we will carefully use a dental elevator to loosen the tooth and extraction forceps to remove it.
Surgical extraction is slightly complex, but it is often recommended if the tooth is broken off at the gum or has not erupted through it. Surgical extraction is also necessary when the affected tooth is hard to pull out and must be removed in pieces. During a surgical extraction, anesthesia is administered to you to calm and relax you. This should keep you unconscious during the procedure. Then, we will place a small incision into your gum to access your tooth for easy extraction.
What Happens When the Extraction Is Over?
After your tooth has been removed, a blood clot will form in the vacant socket. This is perfectly normal, and we will place a sterilized, dry gauze pad into the vacant socket. This helps to control any occurring bleeding and speed up clotting. You will have to bite down on this for up to forty-five minutes to help keep this clot from becoming dislodged (and causing a painful condition called “dry socket”).
Recovery varies from patient to patient. After your extraction, we will advise that you avoid unnecessary exertion in the seventy-two hours following the procedure. You can expect some discomfort after an extraction is done. If necessary, we may recommend or prescribe a suitable analgesic for you. To ensure a successful and complication-free procedure, please make sure to adhere to our professional recommendations before and after the procedure.
Not all tooth pain necessarily requires a dental extraction. However, if you are experiencing any discomfort in your mouth, or you would like to learn more about the services we offer, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Mountain State Oral and Facial Surgery today at 304-343-5161.