Tooth extraction, or removal of individual teeth from the sockets in which they sit, is a procedure performed when a tooth has sustained damage or decay serious enough to render it unrestoreable. Teeth that become loose inside the mouth may also need to be extracted if bone grafting is insufficient to restore them. Extractions are also indicated for other reasons, including to make room for braces, to accommodate the eruption of permanent teeth, to prepare for head or neck radiation treatments or the administration or cancer drugs, to reduce the risk of systemic infection and to eliminate the potential complications of wisdom teeth. By learning what to expect from a tooth extraction, patients can alleviate anxiety and prepare for a successful procedure.
Prior to an extraction, your dentist will take x-rays as well as a full dental and medical history in order to determine the best approach to follow. They will need to assess the location of the problem tooth in relation to surrounding teeth, the sinuses and to critical nerves in the jawbone. Antibiotics may also be prescribed in advance of the procedure under certain circumstances, and extractions will typically be performed only on patients who have not suffered from a cold or cough in the preceding few days.
Tooth removal dental care procedures either fall into the category of simple extractions or surgical extractions. The former classification describes extractions done on teeth that are visible. The dentist works first to loosen the tooth and then uses forceps to remove it. The latter classification refers to more complicated events involving teeth that are broken at the gum line or that have yet to fully erupt. In such cases, removal of bone and strategic breaking of the tooth itself may be required. The level of sedation used in these procedures will depend on the complexity of the work to be done, but in any case, patients should not feel pain during the extraction.
Those undergoing extractions will receive detailed guidance on what they should expect following their procedure. Pain can be managed with anti-inflammatory medications, ice packs, warm compresses and by following a soft diet for the first few days. Extractions do involve the risk of complications such as inadvertent damage to neighbouring teeth, jaw fractures, damage to the sinuses, numbness and ongoing pain. When such issues arise, it is important that patients contact their affordable dentist without delay.