Tooth extraction is a dental procedure to remove a tooth that has suffered some damage or may cause damage to other teeth or the gums as it grows. The most common reasons for extracting a tooth are damage or decay, infection, overcrowding, and periodontal disease.
aWisdom teeth often need to be removed as they appear later in life and may cause problems to the neighboring teeth. These teeth sometimes begin to grow sideways and push on the other teeth, thus increasing the chances of damage.
You can consult a dentist in Littleton to know more about tooth extraction and why this treatment is needed.
How is a tooth extracted?
There are two types of tooth extractions – a simple extraction and extraction of a molar or an “impacted tooth.” The process of a simple tooth extraction involves various steps:
- The dentist will conduct initial tests to determine the health of your teeth and gums. This may involve oral examinations and x-rays of the teeth and jaw.
- The dentist begins by injecting local anesthesia into the site of extraction.
- The dentist will then use special equipment, including a tool called an “elevator,” to move the tooth too and from its place to loosen it.
- Once loose, the tooth is removed with a pair of forceps.
A surgical extraction is performed in the case of impacted teeth (teeth situated beneath the gums). It involves the following steps:
- After initial exams, the dentist injects anesthesia in the area where extraction is performed.
- The surgeon makes an incision to cut the gum and the bone tissue covering the tooth to extract this tooth.
- They will then use forceps to loosen the tooth from the hold of the jawbone by moving it to and fro. In some cases, a tooth has to be removed in pieces if this process does not easily extract it.
- Once the tooth is removed, you may require stitches to close the incision. These may be dissolvable or require removal after a few days.
- The surgeon then packs a sterile gauze pad onto the socket created due to extraction. Soon a blood clot forms over the extraction site, which inhibits bleeding.
How to care for your teeth after an extraction:
You must adopt several dental practices to ensure that your teeth and gums recover in the best way in the shortest time possible.
- Do not eat or drink immediately after the extraction, as blood clots can form effectively.
- Avoid rinsing and spitting as these activities require force and can dislodge the clot, leading to bleeding.
- Keep your cotton gauze pad in place for at least 45 minutes to an hour. Biting down on it can create pressure which will encourage blood-clot formation.
- Use an ice-pack to soothe the affected area to minimize inflammation and pain as the anesthesia wears off.
- Brush and floss the rest of your teeth regularly (but gently) to avoid plaque build-up.
- After a day, you may rinse your mouth gently with salty lukewarm water. This acts as a disinfectant and removes any debris that may have accumulated due to difficulties in brushing.
- Consume only light and soft foods which require minimal chewing, such as ice cream, milk, yogurt, soup (at room temperature), pudding, etc.
- Your doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics along with painkillers. You must ensure to complete the course of medicines to avoid infection.
- Refrain from smoking during the healing period.