Why tooth extraction is required? What is the procedure?

Permanent teeth are usually meant to last for a lifetime. Many teens and adults are going for wisdom tooth removal. If a wisdom tooth does not have enough space to grow and results in pain, infection or other dental problems, it is better to get removed. Wisdom tooth removal is recommended to prevent potential future problems even if impacted teeth aren’t causing problems. There could be another number of reasons for tooth extraction. One of the most common reasons could be a tooth is badly damaged. Other reasons are-

  • Overcrowding
  • Tooth infection or decay

In the case of braces, one or two teeth are required to be removed so other teeth can shift into place. Dentists or oral surgeons perform tooth extractions with the use of local or general anaesthesia.

Removing visible teeth is a simple extraction. Teeth which are broken, below the surface or impacted require an involved procedure. The cost for tooth extraction varies widely depending on whether the tooth is impacted or the type of anaesthesia you need.

The dentist will perform an x-ray of your tooth. If you are on medications or taking vitamins, supplements then inform the dentist. This also includes-

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Liver, thyroid disease

Before tooth extraction, the dentist will ensure all conditions are stable or treated before. They may also prescribe medications if you have an infection or a weak immune system and any specific medical condition.

Procedure for a tooth extraction

Tooth extraction is either simple or surgical which depends on whether the tooth is visible or impacted.

Simple tooth extractions

The dentist or oral surgeon will give local anaesthesia to numb the area around the tooth. You do not feel any pain during the procedure. The tooth is loosened with the use of an instrument named as an elevator and removed with forceps.

Surgical tooth extractions

In this, the dentist will give local and intravenous anaesthesia to make you calm and relaxed. As per the medical conditions, general anaesthesia can also be recommended. This will make you unconscious during the entire procedure.

The dentist will cut your gum with a small incision. The bone may need to remove or cut around your tooth before extraction.

Once the tooth is extracted, the dentist will ask to bite down on a piece of gauze for 20-30 minutes. This form of pressure helps to form a blood clot in the extraction site which is beneficial for healing. Do not dislodge the clot.

After surgery, you may experience little bleeding for 24 hours. Below are a few things which need to remember after surgery-

  • Take medication for pain as prescribed by an oral surgeon.
  • Apply an ice pack on the jaw to reduce swelling. If you feel soreness in the jaw after swelling use warm compress.
  • Eat soft and cool foods after the surgery for a few days.
  • Do not intake hot food and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours.
  • Do not chew food from where the tooth has been extracted.
  • Do not use straw or spit after surgery. This will cause the blood clot to dislodge and healing gets slow.
  • Avoid brushing near the extraction for 24 hours.
  • Do not use antiseptic and commercial mouth rinses as it can cause irritation.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water after surgery.

You may feel pain initially once the anaesthesia subsides. You might experience swelling and mild bleeding for 24 hours after the tooth extraction. If the bleeding or pain is severe more than four hours, visit the dentist. You should also visit if you experience-

  • Sign of infection including fever and chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Redness, swelling or excessive discharge from the affected area
  • Cough or chest pain

Initially, healing takes one to two weeks but it can also take three to six months for the bone and soft tissue to regrow. A missing tooth can cause the remaining to shift, affect your bite and difficult to chew. The dentist usually advises replacing the missing tooth or teeth with an implant, bridges or dentures.

Visit the dentist as soon as possible if you are experiencing pain which is not going away after many days or signs of an infection including fever, pain, pus and drainage from the incision.

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