A tooth extraction is a procedure to remove a tooth from the gum socket. It is usually done by a general dentist, an oral surgeon, or a periodontist.
Why the Procedure is Performed
There are several reasons people have a tooth pulled:
- A deep infection in a tooth (abscess)
- Overcrowded or poorly positioned teeth
- Gum disease that loosens or damages teeth
- Tooth injury from trauma
- Impacted teeth that are causing problems, such as wisdom teeth (third molars)How the Procedure is Performed
- The procedure will take place in the dental office. It may involve removing one or more teeth. You may be asked to take antibiotics before the procedure.
- You will get a local anaesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. Your dentist may loosen the tooth in the gum using a tooth removal tool called an elevator. Your dentist will then place forceps around the tooth and pull the tooth out from the gum.
- If it turns out to be more complex, you will be given sedation so you are relaxed, asleep, and pain-free. The surgeon may need to remove several teeth using the methods above.
- For an impacted tooth, the surgeon may have to cut a flap of gum tissue and remove the surrounding bone. The tooth will be removed with forceps. If it is hard to remove, the tooth may be broken into pieces.
- After your tooth is removed, your dentist will clean out the gum socket and smooth out the bone that is left. The gum will be closed with one or more stitches.How to Prepare For the Procedure
Tell your dentist about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs, and about your medical history.A tooth extraction can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream. So be sure to tell your dentist if you have or have had conditions that may make you prone to infection or make the healing
process slower than usual. These may include: heart disease, liver disease, weakened immune system, recent surgery, including joint replacement.
During the Procedure
If you are awake, you will be asked to bite down on the gauze provided to stop the bleeding. Try to be as calm and co-operative as possible to prevent accidental injury to other parts of your mouth.
After the Procedure
You may go home shortly after the procedure. You will have gauze in your mouth to stop the bleeding. This will also help a blood clot to form. The clot fills the socket as the bone grows back in. Your lips and cheek may be numb, but this will wear off in a few hours.
You may be given an ice pack for your cheek area to help keep swelling down. As the drugs wears off, you may begin to feel pain. Your dentist will recommend pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or diclofenac. Your dentist will give you several instructions on oral care and your diet for the ensuing days. . It will take 1 to 2 weeks for the socket to heal.
While uncommon, certain problems may occur:
- The blood clot in the socket falls off days after the extraction
- Nerve damage
- Fractures caused by instruments, hardware, or implants used during the procedure
- Damage to other teeth or restorations
- Bruising and swelling at the treatment site
- Discomfort or pain at the injection site
- Incomplete relief of pain
- Reaction to local anaesthesia or other medicines given during or after the procedure
- Slow healing of wounds
- Improper bite, requiring additional procedures