Tooth extraction is a standard procedure performed by dentists. According to the American Dental Association, more than 15 million extractions are performed in the United States each year.
Dental extractions are often necessary when tooth decay has progressed to the point where it cannot be treated through root canal therapy or other restorative procedures. Tooth extraction may also be considered when teeth have become badly broken, infected, or painful due to injury or disease.
Types of Extractions
There are two types of extractions: surgical and nonsurgical.
Surgical tooth removal is performed when oral surgeons feel that it is necessary to remove the tooth using surgical instruments. This type of extraction is typically used for teeth that are impacted or stuck in the jawbone.
Nonsurgical tooth removal is performed when the dentist feels that the tooth can be removed using forceps or a dental extractor. This type of extraction is typically used for teeth that are loose or have already been partially extracted.
The Extraction Process
Tooth extraction procedures are typically performed in a dentist’s office and take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the type of extraction, number of teeth being extracted, and the condition of the teeth.
Before the Procedure
Before the procedure begins, the dentist will typically take an x-ray of the teeth that are being extracted to assess the condition of the roots and surrounding bone. This will help the dentist determine which type of extraction is necessary and how best to proceed. It is suggested that dental patients do not eat or drink anything for at least two hours before the procedure.
During the Procedure
The extraction procedure begins when the surgeon administers a local anesthetic to numb the area around the affected tooth. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, your surgeon will use forceps or a dental extractor to remove the tooth socket. Finally, the dentist will use surgical instruments to remove the tooth.
After the Procedure
After the tooth extraction, the patient will be given instructions on how to care for the area where the tooth was taken out. It is essential to follow these instructions closely to avoid infection and promote healing. Medication can be prescribed to help ease pain or prevent infection. It is also recommended to eat soft foods and avoid straws to avoid dry sockets, blood clot, and dental pain.
Reasons for Dental Extractions
There are many reasons why a dentist may decide to perform tooth extractions. They are typically necessary when a tooth is severely decayed or damaged and cannot be saved through other restorative procedures.
The most common reasons for tooth extraction include:
- Tooth decay
- Tooth infection
- Gum disease
- Damaged tooth
- Crowding of other teeth
- Periodontal disease
- Impacted wisdom teeth
Tooth Extraction: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a tooth extraction?
A: A tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the jawbone. Extractions are typically performed when teeth are severely decayed, infected, or painful or when they have become lodged in the jawbone.
Q: What’s the difference between general and local anesthesia?
A: General anesthesia renders the patient completely unconscious, while a local anesthetic numbs the area around the extraction site. Local anesthetics can be administered in various ways, including injections and topical gels.
Q: Why are dental extractions necessary?
A: A dental extraction is typically necessary when a tooth cannot be saved through other restorative procedures. They may also be required to remove wisdom teeth that have become impacted underneath gum tissue or correct the teeth’ crowding.
Q: How much do extractions cost?
A: The cost of extractions can vary depending on the type of extraction and the oral surgeon performing the procedure. Most insurance providers will cover part of the cost of extractions.
Q: What should I expect after having a tooth extracted?
A: Most patients experience some swelling and bruising in the area where the tooth was removed. It is essential to follow the post-operative instructions given by the dentist closely to avoid infection and ensure proper healing. Most patients feel minimal pain after tooth extraction, but if you experience severe pain near the extraction site, contact your oral surgeon immediately so that they can examine it.
Need Relief? Contact Us Today!
Our team at Strull Oral Surgery is here to help! Our number one priority is to make sure that you are comfortable and well-informed throughout the entire dental surgery process. Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the dental procedures we offer – we have offices located in Louisville, KY, and Seymour, IN, for your convenience!
CALL ON YOUR COMMON SENSE
After the extraction, drink lots of liquids and eat soft, nutritious foods. Avoid hot liquids and alcoholic beverages. Do not use a straw. Begin eating solid foods as soon as you can chew comfortably. For the first few days, try to chew food on the side opposite the extraction site. When it feels comfortable, you should resume chewing on both sides of your mouth.
One in three people have NEVER flossed their teeth!