A tooth extraction is an outpatient dental procedure that is performed due to any of the following reasons:
- Preparation for orthodontic braces and retainers.
- Wisdom teeth may need to be removed if they become impacted or if there is no space for them in the mouth.
- A tooth is severely decayed or damaged and can no longer be repaired.
When undergoing a tooth extraction procedure, the area where the tooth will be pulled out will be numbed with a local anesthetic. You may also be administered an intravenous sedative or anti anxiety medication.
There are two basic types of tooth extraction – simple and surgical.
A simple tooth extraction is used when the tooth that will be removed is visible in the mouth. General dentists can perform this procedure and the patient will receive local anesthesia.
On the other hand, a surgical tooth extraction can only be performed by an oral surgeon as it involves the removal of tooth that is not visible in the mouth. Some individuals may be administered general anesthesia if they have special medical conditions.
Healing and Recovery
After tooth extraction, it’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions for oral care. Some of these instructions are:
- Eat only soft foods for the first few days following extraction.
- Don’t drink through a straw for at least 24 hours.
- Don’t brush the teeth close to the extraction site on the day after the procedure. But it’s important to brush the rest of your teeth.
After extraction, your jaw may become sore. This is normal and will go away after a while. Some patients may experience a condition known as “dry socket,” which happens when a blood clot fails to form in the socket after extraction, resulting in the underlying bone to be exposed. This needs to be treated as soon as possible.