A tooth extraction, also known as exodontia, is one of the most common procedures performed at a dentist‘s office. The procedure involves removing or pulling a tooth. An extraction may be necessary if there is disease, trauma or overcrowding.
Causes for Tooth Extraction
Tooth extractions may be performed for the following reasons and/or to remove the following conditions:
- Wisdom teeth
- Decayed teeth
- Broken teeth
- Loose teeth
- In preparation for braces
Tooth Extraction Procedure
After the dentist has decided that a tooth extraction is necessary, an X-ray will be used to further evaluate the tooth. The extraction procedure may be performed under local anesthesia to minimize discomfort, or general anesthesia if more than one tooth is removed. There are two types of dental extractions:
This is an extraction of a tooth that can be seen in the mouth. In a simple extraction, forceps are used to remove the tooth.
A surgical extraction is performed on teeth that have broken at the gum line or have not descended into the mouth, such as wisdom teeth. It is a more complex extraction procedure that may be performed by an oral surgeon. This procedure may require general anesthesia.
After the extraction, stitches may be necessary; alternatively, a bridge, implant or a denture will be used to replace one or more teeth.
Who Is A Candidate for Tooth Extractions?
If you are experiencing mild to highly uncomfortable oral pain in your mouth or if a tooth is decaying quickly, you could be a great candidate for a tooth extraction.
While tooth extractions are meant for patients who need to find relief from pain in their adult teeth, there are some cases where children may need tooth extractions as well. Tooth extractions for children are safe and normal.
Most patients who are in their mid-20s or older make great candidates for tooth extractions if they are in overall good health and are non-smokers. It may also be beneficial to consult with Dr. Spiguzza regarding your next steps after your tooth extraction, such as the need for dental implants.
Patients with diabetes may not be ideal candidates for tooth extractions, as oral surgery can increase the risk of gum disease.
How Can I Prepare for My Tooth Extraction?
Preparing for your oral surgery can help both your procedure and your recovery go smoothly. For the most comfortable and optimal tooth extraction experience, do the following before the day of your appointment:
- Avoid smoking or tobacco
- Brush your teeth before your appointment
- Avoid eating a large meal before your appointment
- Avoid alcohol
- Avoid blood-thinning drugs such as aspirin
- Arrange carpool details with a loved one
- Consult with your doctor to determine if fasting before your surgery is necessary
Is Tooth Extraction Painful?
For most patients, a tooth extraction is not painful. Local anesthesia is typically used for most extractions, which allows patients not to feel any potential pain that may happen during the procedure. While you may feel movement and pressure within your mouth during the surgery, it is rare that the movement is painful or uncomfortable.
Recovery from a Tooth Extraction
After the extraction, patients may experience a certain amount of pain. The pain may be relieved by:
- Applying ice to the external area if swelling occurs
- Rinsing with warm salt water
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication
Antibiotics may be prescribed to fight infection. Patients are also advised to avoid certain foods and hot liquids for 24 hours after the procedure. A follow-up appointment may be necessary to remove stitches.
Most patients recover completely from a tooth extraction within one to two weeks.
Complications of Tooth Extraction
The dental extraction procedure is safe for most patients with minimal to no complications. While most complications are rare, they may include:
- Accidental damage to surrounding teeth
- Fractured jaw
- Soreness in the jaw
- Dry socket or exposure of bone in the tooth socket
Patients may also experience side effects from local and general anesthesia. The dentist or surgeon will discuss any potential side effects before the procedure.