The Basics of Tooth Extractions

Probably the biggest fear for many patients is not that they have cavities but need a tooth extraction.  A tooth extraction is the remove of one or more teeth from their socket located in the jawbone. The reason a tooth may need to be pulled is become damaged, overcrowded, impacted or broken.

A simple tooth extraction can usually be done by a dentist. The dentist loosens the tooth from the socket’s jawbone with an elevator. An elevator is a dental tool. The dentist then uses forceps to excise the loosened tooth.

More Complicated Tooth Extractions are Done by Oral Surgeons.  

More complicated tooth extractions such as an impacted wisdom tooth is pulled by an oral surgeon Bel Air MD. A patient may also need a surgical extraction because of a tooth that breaks off at the gum. For some reason, the tooth cannot simply be loosened and pulled. Instead, an oral surgeon must make a tiny incision into the gum area where the tooth is located. After the incision is made, the impacted or broken tooth is surgically pulled.

Sometimes the oral surgeon may have to cut and remove some of the jawbone located around the tooth. Other circumstances may call for the oral surgeon to cut the damaged or impacted tooth in half to remove it. Throughout the surgery, a patient is under a local anesthetic. However, people who are scared or young children may be given a general anesthesia to help the patient relax.

Expect to feel pressure as the oral surgeon works to remove the tooth or teeth. Pain typically does not occur during the procedure. It may occur after the procedure as the extracted area heals.

Risks that Occur because of a Tooth Extraction

As with any surgical procedure, a patient is at risk for developing a complication with a surgical tooth extraction. One risk is called a dry socket. It develops when a blood clot does not form in the hole where the tooth was. Blood should cloth in that area to protect it. If left unprotected the underlying jawbone can be exposed to food and/or air. This can cause pain and a bad odor to occur. A dry socket may occur by day three of healing. Other risks include an incomplete tooth removal, damage to other teeth and a fractured jawbone.

Aiding in Recovery Time after a Tooth Extraction

Recovering from a tooth extraction can happen so or fast depending on how proactive a patient is during the healing process. For example, healing from a pulled tooth or teeth can become easier if the patient follows the diet suggested by the oral surgeon. Also, for the first 24 hours, avoid drinking through a straw. It’s important to avoid smoking. A patient should avoid vigorously rinsing their mouth.

Brushing teeth and flossing are fine except where the tooth extraction occurred. The teeth around the extracted area should not be flossed or brushed. Always follow up with the oral surgeon regarding any pain, discomfort or complication with the extracted tooth area.