A tooth extraction, or "tooth pulling," is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, including tooth decay that has destroyed enough tooth structure to prevent restoration, tooth damage that cannot be repaired, and impacted wisdom teeth.
If your dentist recommends tooth extraction, don't worry! This procedure is usually easy and relatively painless. Your dentist can use anesthesia, local anesthesia, or sedation to make your procedure more comfortable. Call West County Smile at (314)576-4462 to learn about dental extraction procedures.
When Is A Tooth Extraction Necessary?
The most common dental extractions are for wisdom teeth, followed by premolars and molars. Sometimes, a tooth that has severe decay and cannot be effectively treated with fillings or root canal therapy may need to be extracted as well. Teeth that become severely infected or potentially damage the surrounding teeth, bone, and gums may also have to be removed.
The common reasons for tooth extractions include the following:
- Decay (cavities) that cannot be treated with fillings or root canal therapy
- Periodontal/gum disease
- A broken tooth that can't be restored
- An infection that spreads throughout the entire tooth that cannot be treated sufficiently using medication
- Teeth causing damage to surrounding teeth, jawbone, and gums
Tooth extraction is the treatment of choice when a tooth is severely damaged and cannot be repaired."
Procedure for Dental Extraction
A dental extraction is now easier and pain-free, thanks to the use of modern dental equipment such as surgical lasers, motorized endodontic handpieces, etc. Teeth are removed using different techniques depending on where in the mouth they are situated - the frontal teeth are usually more easily extracted than the rear teeth.
During the tooth extraction procedure, we will start by getting an X-ray to determine the number of teeth needing extraction and if there are additional complications. A local anesthetic will be used on the treatment area to numb the area. If the tooth is impacted, we may need to section the gum and remove the bone around the root of the tooth before completing the extraction. This allows easier access to the tooth.
Dental extractions are usually carried out with the patient under local anesthesia.
Tooth Extraction - Aftercare
After tooth extraction, the area may be slightly tender, but this should go away within a few days. You may be prescribed pain medication or antibiotics after the procedure. A blood clot will form in the socket where the tooth was. Do not disturb the area, and avoid rinsing or spitting for a few days. This blood clot protects the area while the socket heals. Also, be careful while brushing and flossing after the extraction. Take care only to eat soft food for the first few days. To prevent infection, refrain from smoking.
During your recovery, it is important to practice good oral hygiene, as bacterial infections can develop in the empty tooth socket.
Types of Extractions
When you have a severely decayed, broken, or damaged tooth that can't be restored with dental fillings or root canal procedures, extracting them may be the only option. Dental extractions are mainly of two types - simple and surgical extraction; they depend on the position of the tooth to be extracted and its ease of accessibility.
Simple tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth that can be seen above the gum tissue. In most cases, this is a simple procedure that uses a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and gums. Surgical tooth extraction is performed when the tooth is impacted inside the jaw and can't be removed without making an incision. The procedure starts by numbing the area with an anesthetic. Then, the dentist uses a dental tool called an elevator to lift the tooth from the socket, and the tooth is removed from the gum using forceps.
Simple extractions are usually performed when a tooth is visible in the mouth. Surgical extractions involve the removal of teeth that cannot be easily accessed.
Questions Answered on This Page
- When is a tooth extraction necessary?
- What is the procedure for dental extraction?
- What is the aftercare for a tooth extraction procedure?
- What are the types of extractions?
People Also Ask
Frequently Asked Questions
When are extractions needed?
Tooth extractions are performed when a tooth is severely damaged from decay, infection, or trauma. A tooth may also be removed if it is impacted (cannot be fully erupted from the gum), crowding other teeth, or causing pain.
How long will recovery take?
The healing time for a tooth extraction will vary based on a variety of factors, such as the overall health of the patient and how the procedure was performed. In most cases, patients can expect a tooth extraction to take about two weeks to heal.
When can I return to work?
With most tooth extractions, you can expect to return to work within 1-2 days. If you have a surgical extraction, you probably won't be able to return to work for about a week.