When it is impossible to repair a tooth because it is damaged, infected or there is severe erosion, tooth extraction is the only course of action. An tooth extraction refers to the eviction of a tooth from its socket.
When the dentist finds a tooth beyond saving, an incision will be made which cuts through the gum tissue and jaw bone, for direct access to the tooth. Extractions, however, are complicated and require post-treatment attention. Continue reading to find out when a tooth extraction is necessary, how it works and the post-treatment care required.
When Is Tooth Extraction Necessary?
Tooth extractions are necessary when a tooth is infected or damaged, severely eroded, or has suffered some trauma, and as a result, cannot be repaired through a restorative process.
Since there is a risk of infection spreading and deteriorating other teeth, a tooth cannot exist inside the mouth after it has been severely eroded. Such a tooth has to be extracted. Some other reasons where tooth extraction is required are:
- Removal of the posterior molars to give space to the wisdom teeth
- Overbite or pronounced bite
- When there are teeth infused with the bone
- Removal of wisdom teeth that have already exploded
- Dental parts impacted
There exist essentially two types of dental extractions: simple and surgical extractions.
Simple Tooth Extraction
The procedure is carried out for teeth that are visible from the corner of the gums. The tooth is relaxed by utilizing a tool referred to as “elevator”. Then, the dentist extracts the tooth from its socket utilizing a forcep. A simple extraction is usually used in cases of dental erosion, trauma or lack of distance between teeth.
Surgical Dental Extraction
This procedure is mostly recommended when a tooth hasn’t developed at the corner of the gums, is destroyed below the corner of the gums, or in the situation where the tooth is so severely eroded that even the forceps is unable to remove the tooth from its socket.
For surgical extractions, the dentist will cut into the gum and remove the tooth from its roots.
Post-treatment Care: Recovering from an Extraction
It is critical to pay extra attention to the care provided post-treatment so that there is proper recovery, reduced likelihood of infection as well as, pain control.
Adequate care after a tooth extraction is essential which will ensure that the tooth heals properly. Follow the below guidelines post-completion of a tooth extraction:
- Consume pain-relievers based on doctor’s prescription
- To reduce inflammation, apply a cold compress to the affected area
- Until you have fully recovered, abstain from any strenuous activities
- Refrain from spitting or rinsing within the first 24 hours once the extraction is done
- Avoid brushing near the extraction
- Refrain from smoking as it prevents healing
- Initially, only eat soft foods and then begin to add solid foods once healing has begun
- Elevate your head when you are lying down
Tooth extractions are almost always carried out after local anesthesia. The type of procedure used and the post-treatment care depends on the severity of after-effects. It’s always best to follow your dentist’s recommendations.