Tooth Extraction Guidelines
Dr. Bhupendra Kannojiy
January 07, 2021
Tooth aches and cavities are common oral problems that are addressed by dental treatment. Depending on the severity of the tooth decay, dentists usually suggest cavity fillings, crowns, or fluoride treatments. In particular cases, you may have to undergo root canal treatment (RCT), if the tooth is worth saving. However, if the infection has completely decayed the tooth and it is dead, dentists will suggest tooth extraction. Simply put, this is a process that involves the removal of the decaying tooth.
Here, you are under the effects of anaesthesia and so, there is no tooth extraction pain to worry about. However, during the procedure you may feel pressure and hear cracking noises, both of which are normal. Now that you have a basic understanding of what a tooth extraction is, take a look at a breakdown of the tooth extraction procedure, the different types, the aftercare, and the possible complications to be aware of.
What is the tooth extraction procedure?
It is important to note that there are 2 different types of tooth extraction procedures: standard and surgical extraction. The former is carried out when there are no irregularities. However, tooth extraction surgery is carried out when the tooth may have not erupted properly or there are other complications that require the services of a dental surgeon. In both cases, the tooth extraction procedure begins with an X-ray. Dentists use this to get information on the tooth’s root.
Following this, here are general steps followed during a tooth extraction procedure.
- Step 1: Anaesthesia is administered to numb the tooth
The dentist will use local anaesthesia to numb the tooth, bone tissue, and gum. At this stage of tooth extraction, pain may be felt, but it is the only time you will experience it. It is a simple prick, and you can speak to the dentist about minimising this pain.
- Step 2: Tooth extraction
Once the area is numb, the dentist will confirm the same and then proceed to extracting the tooth. The dentist will first enlarge the socket that holds the tooth and its ligament. The dentist will use dental elevators that slide in between the tooth and bone to help with this process and loosen the tooth from its socket. Once loose enough, extraction forceps are used to rotate and rock the tooth back and forth to help it release from the ligament
- Step 3: Disinfecting and closing the empty space
The dentist will now examine the area for infections or pathologic tissue. These will be cleaned and then, the dentist will compress the socket using a finger. Once the area has been cleaned and disinfected, the dentist will put gauze to control the bleeding. You may be requested to bite down and create pressure to keep bleeding in check. For surgical extractions, stitches will be administered to cover up the incisions made.
- Step 4: Keeping swelling in check
In some cases, you may experience swelling after tooth extraction. Dentists will recommend using ice packs to keep this in check.
These are the steps for tooth extraction and after these are done, the next part is aftercare. Recovery is an integral part of the process and is one you should take very seriously to avoid problems.
When do you need a tooth extraction?
There are several instances in which you require a tooth extraction. One of the foremost reasons is when you’re getting your wisdom teeth and they don’t come in favourably. As such, they cause problems, which is why wisdom tooth extraction is carried out. Besides this, here are some other instances in which you’d need this treatment.
- When you have a decayed tooth that can’t be saved with an RCT
- When you have hyperdontia, which is the existence of too many teeth, leading to bite problems
- When you have gum disease and loose teeth
- When you have to get braces
- When you have an illness like cancer and decaying teeth must be removed to avoid further spread of infection
What the common ways to go about tooth extraction healing?
To promote proper and complete tooth extraction healing, here’s what you will need to do.
- Change the blood-soaked dental gauze periodically for 1 to 2 days
- Control the pain with medication to avoid an overly uncomfortable experience
- Use an icepack to keep swelling of the face in check
- Leave the extraction site completely undisturbed for 24 hours, which means:
- Do not chew hard foods
- Do not suck on the extraction site
- Do not use a straw
- Do not touch it with your tongue
- Do not rinse your mouth vigorously
- Do not smoke
- Do not drink alcohol or rinse with mouthwash that has alcohol content
- Do not spit
- Drink fluids and avoid solid foods for a few days
- Brush and floss normally but avoid the extraction site
- Rinse with warm salt water gently
What are your tooth replacement options after extraction?
After extraction, replacing the missing tooth is something you may give serious consideration to. Tooth replacement types range from removable to permanent solutions. They are as follows:
- Dental implants
- Bridge treatment
- Removable partial dentures
Understanding these details of tooth extraction can help address doubts and rid yourself of lingering fears. Moreover, these facts also emphasize the risks of poor oral health and hygiene, both of which lead to tooth decay. Tooth extraction is the last resort for treatment and if it is recommended for you, knowing what it entails can be a great help. When it comes to common procedures like wisdom tooth extraction, cost shouldn’t be considered a limiting factor. Remember, a badly positioned wisdom tooth can cause misalignments or other complications. So, get the medical care you need at earliest and use the Bajaj Finserv Health App to get this care from top specialists.
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