A tooth extraction refers to the removal of the tooth from its socket (dental alveolus). The dentist will thoroughly check your mouth, teeth and gums before extracting a tooth. The ideal scenario is to preserve the tooth but if it cannot be avoided, then we will make sure the extraction is as painless as possible.
There are 2 types of extraction: simple and surgical.
Simple extractions are performed when the tooth/teeth can be easily seen in the mouth. This procedure will only require local anesthesia. Surgical extractions, on the other hand, are performed when the tooth cannot be accessed easily such as when the tooth has broken under the gum line or has not fully erupted. This type of extraction may require general anesthesia.
Tooth extractions are needed when:
- The tooth is irreparably damaged due to severe decay.
- It’s deemed necessary in the treatment of gum disease.
- The tooth is impacted.
- It’s recommended as part of orthodontic treatment (i.e. overcrowded teeth).
- The tooth/teeth are broken/damaged as a result of an accident.
The dentist will make the tooth extraction as painless as possible for you. After the procedure, there are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
- Get some rest. Physical exertion should be avoided for at least 24 hours.
- Allow the clot to form in the extraction site.
- Use an ice pack on the side of your face where the tooth extraction was performed in order to reduce swelling.
- Don’t smoke for at least 2 days (48 hours).
- Avoid eating solid foods after the procedure.
- Rinse with a saline solution to clean the area of extraction.
- Take your prescribed medications.
- Avoid drinking through a straw as this could lead to dry socket.