We all dread visiting the dentist; we try to avoid the unpleasant experience at all costs! But when your gum starts throbbing and there is no escaping a mouth full of pain, you have to put your big boy pants on and make the trip. Whilst your dentist should first put every effort in to save your tooth and eradicate the pain, often extracting the tooth will be the only solution. If this is the case for you, perhaps you would like more information on the procedure and what to expect, just to ease your mind.
What is a tooth extraction?
A Tooth Extraction is a medical procedure where a tooth is surgically removed from the mouth. This procedure usually takes place at the dentist’s office and is performed by a licensed practitioner or specialist. A local or general anaesthetic is administered and when done correctly, the extraction should be quick and pain free. With the technology and preventative care that is available today, tooth extractions should be accepted as the last resort after all other methods of saving the tooth have been tried or at least considered.
It’s very important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing with dental equipment at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your breath and mouth fresh. Call your dental office right away if you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling after two or three days, or a reaction to the medication. After a few days, you’ll be feeling fine and can resume your normal activities.
Normally, the blood clot that forms after a tooth is removed promotes healing, laying the foundation for the growth of new bone tissue. When dry socket occurs, this blood clot is lost and the infected, inflamed socket appears empty – hence the name. Nerves are exposed, and sometimes the bone is visible in the empty socket.
You may not have symptoms until 3 to 5 days after the extraction. Then, the condition will manifest itself as severe pain that doesn’t subside, often accompanied by what feels like an earache. You may also have an unpleasant taste in your mouth, and bad breath. Call your dentist right away if you notice any symptoms of dry socket. Treatment for dry socket typically includes a gentle rinsing of the socket and dressing the socket with sedative medication.
Surgical extraction and simple extraction are two types of extraction. For simple extraction, a dental elevator, forceps or any other tool for grasping the tooth, as well as local anesthetic, are the only materials required to perform the procedure. The tooth is loosened by rocking it back and forth with those materials. Visible teeth are easier to remove with this method. On the other hand, more complex tool like drills and other devices used for cutting and breaking the tooth are required for surgical extractions. The process is usually done for teeth that are not easily accessible such as an impacted tooth and may require the tooth to be broken into different pieces for easier extraction.
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