An extraction is a dental procedure that removes a tooth from its socket in the jawbone. Dental extractions are usually performed when the teeth are not repairable or the patient desires to replace a nonfunctional tooth. Extractions can be done at a general dentist’s office or at the oral surgeon’s office.
Types of Extractions
A simple extraction is the removal of a tooth that is visible in the mouth. This is usually accomplished with local anesthesia. If a patient is anxious about the procedure, a sedative can be given.
The dentist will use an elevator to loosen the tooth and then forceps to remove it.
A surgical extraction is more complex. The tooth and surrounding gum tissue are numbed with a local anesthetic, and then the dentist will cut into the gum to expose the tooth to be extracted. In certain cases, the tooth may be removed in several pieces.
When Are Extractions Necessary?
Tooth extraction is considered a last resort when a tooth cannot be restored or reattached. It’s often performed when the tooth cannot be saved, such as in the case of a dying tooth or one that has already broken, cracked, or decayed beyond repair.
Extractions may also be used as a preventative measure, particularly in the case of wisdom teeth. Many times, these teeth become impacted or unable to fully erupt from the gums. Instead, they stay partially or fully trapped, which can lead to infection, damage to the teeth that do erupt, and crowding. In these cases, extraction is the best course of action.
The major reasons why a tooth may need extraction include the following:
- Tooth decay
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Severe tooth damage
- Orthodontic treatment
- Impacted baby teeth
- Severe tooth infection
How Are Extractions Performed?
When our dentists determine it is in your best interest to have a tooth extracted, they will first numb the area with a local anesthetic. In a simple extraction, forceps alone are used. In other cases, the tooth will be loosened and removed in pieces.
What Can You Expect After an Extraction?
After our dentist has completely removed your tooth, it’s critical that you practice proper oral hygiene and schedule follow-up visits with the dentist. If the tooth was removed because of an infection, following your aftercare instructions is very important. Many infections stem from poor oral hygiene, which is why it’s so important to properly clean your mouth after extraction.
You should avoid eating hard foods or foods that require a lot of chewing, such as nuts and steak, and stick to a diet of soft foods for a few days after the extraction.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Stevenson or Dr. Cyr, book online or call All Smiles Family Dentistry at (319) 553-3085.