A severely damaged tooth caused by excessive breakage or decay that is beyond repair must be surgically extracted. A tooth extraction is vital to stop the infection from spreading, and can help with the esthetic appearance of the mouth.
Tooth Extraction – Preparation
Prior to a tooth extraction, the dentist will conduct a full examination of the tooth and surrounding area to determine if any repairs can be preformed to restore the health of the tooth. Once it has been established that a tooth extraction is necessary, an examination will be utilized to plan the best method to remove the tooth. X-Rays and a full medical/dental history will be evaluated to ensure all the appropriate measures are taken throughout the preparation of the surgery.
Tooth Extraction – Procedure
There are two types of extractions. The first is a simple tooth extraction that is performed on a tooth that can be visibly seen in the mouth. Any general dentists can conduct this type of common extraction. This procedure begins when the dentist loosens the tooth with an instrument called an elevator, which is followed by the removal of the tooth with a forceps. A more complex procedure is a surgical tooth extraction, which involves the removal of teeth that cannot be easily accessed because they have broken under the gum line or because they have not erupted fully. A surgical tooth extraction is typically done by oral surgeons.
Before removing the tooth, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. A stronger, general anesthetic may be used, especially if multiple teeth need to be removed. General anesthetic prevents pain in the whole body and will make you sleep through the procedure. For a complex tooth extraction, the surgeon will make a small incision into the gum to expose the tooth. Sometimes it is necessary to remove some of the bone around the tooth or to cut the tooth in half in order for a tooth extraction to be possible.
After the tooth extraction, stitches may be required. The patient can gently bite down on a cotton gauze pad placed over the wound, which will eventually cause a clot to help stop the bleeding. The removed tooth can be replaced with an implant, a denture, or a bridge
After Surgical Tooth Extraction
Your doctor will give you detailed instructions on what to do and what to expect after your surgery. If you have any questions, make sure to ask them before you leave the office.