Tooth extraction is the process of complete removal of a tooth from its crown to root. They are necessary when a tooth is damaged beyond any form of restoration to prevent it from becoming a severe health condition. Tooth extraction may be needed if the tooth has very big cavities, root canal infection, or damage caused due to external trauma.
When would an extraction be necessary?
Tooth extraction may be necessary in the following cases:
- If wisdom teeth get impacted or stuck in the jawbone socket, it can result in a painful condition and cause severe infection. The best way to treat an impacted tooth is by extracting it from the socket.
- When a tooth has been severely affected by a cavity, and all dental restoration methods, including root canal therapy fails, it will have to be extracted.
- When a tooth sustains damage in the form of fractures, chipping, or cracks due to external trauma, the condition can be painful and can lead to a root canal infection. We will try saving it using dental restoration techniques like veneers, crowns, or composite bonding. But if all of them fail, it is best to have the tooth extracted.
- During orthodontic treatments using dental braces or Invisalign, in order to make space for the movement of the teeth, your dentist may extract a tooth on either side of the jaw.
Dental extractions are carried out by a trained dentist in a dental practice after administering local anesthesia to the patient. This will keep the patient from feeling pain or discomfort during the procedure as the anesthesia numbs the oral tissues, such as the tooth, surrounding gums, and underlying jawbone.
Tooth extraction process
When you come to our dental office suffering from severe tooth pain or damage, our dentist will screen your mouth and determine the need for an extraction. If we are sure that no other dental restoration methods will work, we will plan for a tooth extraction. Initially, the teeth will be cleaned to remove the microbes and prevent the infection of the extraction site. The dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the tooth and the surrounding tissues. The dentist will grip the tooth using forceps, loosen it from the surrounding fibers, and extract it completely. A piece of gauze will be placed at the site to control the bleeding and enable clot formation. The wound will be secured using a suture if needed, and the dentist will suggest medication to enable optimum healing of the wound and prevent infection.
Recovery after a tooth extraction
It usually takes a few days to recover after tooth extraction. Follow these steps to ensure that your recovery goes smooth.
- After the procedure, apply an ice pack directly to your cheek to reduce swelling.
- Your dentist will place a gauze pad over the affected area after the procedure. Bite down the gauze to reduce bleeding and to support the clot formation. Leave the gauze on for at least three to four hours, or until the pad is fully soaked with blood.
- Take the prescribed medications.
- If possible, rest for the first 24 hours. Do not strain yourself.
- Do not use a straw for the first 24 hours.
- Do not smoke for the first 24 hours to reduce the risk of infection or the development of a dry socket.
- Don't rinse for 24 hours after the tooth extraction, and spit only gently to prevent dislodging the blood clot.
- Avoid the extraction site while brushing and flossing.
- Eat soft foods for the first few days. As you heal over the next few days, slowly reintroduce other foods into your diet.
If you have pain that doesn't go away after several days or signs of an infection, see your dentist as soon as possible.