What is it Dental Extraction?
Dental extraction refers to the process of removing a diseased or non-functioning natural tooth out of its socket under the effect of a local or general anesthesia.
When Do Teeth Need to Be Extracted?
With the introduction of modern dental restorative techniques, very few teeth need to be extracted nowadays. However, a small number of teeth still require extraction in the following cases:
- Dental Infection – teeth need to be extracted in case of a prolonged and severe dental infection which cannot be controlled with medication and oral hygiene care. Dental infections, if treated at an early stage can prevent extraction of the effected tooth.
- Orthodontic Reasons – in case of severe crowing of the natural teeth, unilateral or bilateral extraction of one or more teeth may need to be carried out before starting orthodontic treatment, so as to create room for the alignment of the remaining teeth.
- Impacted Teeth – a tooth is said to have been impacted if it fails to completely or partially erupt out of the jaw bone and into normal occlusion. The most commonly impacted teeth are the mandibular 3rd molars and cause various problems, such as infections and cavities of the adjacent teeth. In this case, it is advisable to get the impacted tooth extracted.
- Supernumerary Teeth – Supernumerary or extra teeth not only disturb facial esthetics and smile, but also create problems in speech and eating. Therefore, they should be extracted as soon as possible.
- Retained Primary Teeth – a retained primary tooth prevents the eruption of the underlying permanent successor. Therefore, it must be extracted to make way for the eruption of the permanent tooth.
How Are Teeth Extracted?
The technique adopted for extraction varies with the type and condition of each tooth. However, following steps are generally involved in extracting a tooth:
- Cleaning the Tooth – the tooth that needs to be extracted is first cleaned thoroughly with the help of a clean gauze.
- Administration of Anesthesia – an uncomplicated extraction of a tooth is usually carried out under the effect of local anesthesia. However, if complicated surgery is expected or multiple teeth need to be taken out, the dentist may choose to carry out the procedure under the effect of general anesthesia or conscious sedation.
- Detaching the Dental Fibers – after ensuring that the patient is comfortable and pain-free, the dentist starts extracting the tooth by detaching various fibers that are attached to the tooth with the help of an elevator.
- Tooth Luxation – next, another elevator is used to make to tooth mobile in its socket. This step makes the extraction of the tooth easier.
- Extraction – once the tooth is sufficiently mobile within its socket, the dentist then grips the tooth by using appropriate forceps and extracts the tooth by applying controlled pulling forces.
- Controlling the Bleeding –once the tooth is out, the dentist thoroughly cleans the socket and asks the patient to bite over a clean gauze. This helps in controlling the bleeding and making blood clot.
What to Expect After Tooth Extraction
Slight discomfort and swelling is not uncommon after a tooth has been extracted. Your dentist may prescribe you with painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication to make you comfortable. You should take care of the following immediately after tooth extraction.
- Don’t eat from the side of the mouth where a tooth was extracted for at least 24 hours.
- It is best to eat soft diet for 24-72 hours after extraction.
- Don’t touch the extraction socket with your fingers or tongue as it may dislodge the socket and prevent optimal healing.