A tooth extraction is the removal of the tooth from the dental socket. This is done for various reasons as follows:
- To remove teeth which have become unrestorable because of tooth decay.
- To remove teeth which have become unrestorable because of gum diseases.
- To remove teeth which have become unrestorable because of dental trauma.
- When they are associated with toothache.
- If wisdom teeth are impacted (stuck and unable to grow normally into the mouth) and may cause recurrent infections of the gum.
- If teeth are crowded, sound teeth may be extracted to create space so the rest of the teeth can be straightened easily with braces.
- Supernumerary teeth, which are blocking other teeth from coming in.
- Teeth in the fracture line.
Extractions can be of two types:
Simple extractions where, extractions are performed on teeth that are usually visible in the mouth and they can be extracted using local anesthesia.
Surgical extractions involve the removal of teeth that cannot be easily accessed, either because they have broken under the gum line or because they have not erupted fully. Surgical extractions almost always require an incision. In a surgical extraction the doctor may elevate the soft tissues covering the tooth and bone and may also remove the tissue. Surgical extractions are usually performed under a general anesthetic.
Immediately after extraction bleeding and oozing is very common. Pressure is applied by biting on a gauze swab and a blood clot forms in the socket. Patient is asked not to spit post extraction and swallow the accumulated blood and saliva. Cold and soft food and beverages are recommended for the day when extraction is performed.
Complications can arise post extraction. A list of which is as follows:
- Prolonged bleeding
- Sinus exposure
- Displacement of the tooth in the sinus
- Nerve injury
- Dry socket.