A dentist will almost always recommend that you keep as many of your original teeth as possible, however, there are definitely situations where extraction is preferable. Many of these extractions are generally a result of severe tooth decay, overcrowding, or insufficient insurance coverage where the patient may only be able to afford the removal.
Dental Extraction Types
There are two different types of dental extraction:
- Simple extraction – The dentist does not need to cut into the gum line at all. The tooth has erupted normally and can be removed with minimal effort. Generally, you will receive local anesthetic for this process.
- Surgical extraction – This extraction happens when the tooth has either not erupted as it should have, or requires the dentist to remove bone or other structures to extract the tooth. This process will require heavier sedation to complete the process when compared to a simple extraction.
Dental extraction preparation
Even though dental extractions are generally very simple procedures, there are some preparations that you should go through. Much of this involves communication with your dentist on any vitamins, medications, allergies, or health conditions you may have. Even if it seems unrelated or unimportant you should alert your dentist as you may not be aware that it has an effect on the extraction.
If you have any of the following, definitely alert your dentist prior to extraction:
- A congenital heart defect
- Liver disease
- Thyroid disease
- Renal disease
- An artificial joint
- Damaged heart valves
- Adrenal disease
- An impaired immune system
- A history of bacterial endocarditis
Tooth Extraction Complications
Tooth extraction is generally a pretty safe procedure, there are a few things that can happen however, here they are:
- Dry socket
- Bleeding lasting longer than 12 hours
- Severe fever and chills
- Nausea or vomiting
- Chest pain and/or shortness of breath
- Local swelling and redness
If you happen to notice any of these symptoms occurring after your extraction, you should immediately call your dentist to inform them.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
- Cold compress – Reduce swelling by applying an ice pack, or another cold object against the site i.e. frozen bag of vegetables. Do this for 10 minutes at a time.
- Gauze pad – After the extraction, a gauze pad will be used to help control the bleeding, apply adequate pressure to the pad over the affected area.
- Prescribed medications – If the dentist tells you to take any medications, take them as prescribed until you have no more left to take.
- Rest completely – Extraction requires healing, rest for the next 24-48 hours to ensure the body has adequate strength to heal.
- Don’t use a straw – The sucking action from using a straw can dislodge a blood clot.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products – Same as a straw, smoking can dislodge the blood clot, and tobacco can potentially cause infection on the open site.
- No rinsing – Don’t swish fluid around your mouth to avoid added pressure on the blood clot. If you need to remove fluid, spit, but do so carefully.
- Soft food diet – Avoid pressure by eating soft foods such as yogurt, ice cream, smoothies, etc.
- After 24 hours rinsing – After the initial 24 hours have passed, add a teaspoon of salt to a glass of water and rinse it gently around your mouth (salt is antimicrobial).
Frequently Asked Questions
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Be very careful during the first 24-48 hours after extraction, lots of rest and minimal physical stress. Recovery will generally take a 1-3 weeks at the latest.
Yes, extraction with out sedation would be painful. Dentists try to minimize as much discomfort as possible.
Yes, even surgical extractions will only take one sitting.