TOOTH EXTRACTION: PROCEDURE, HEALING, COMPLICATIONS
Removing teeth from your mouth is considered one of the commonest procedures carried out in the dental practice. Having to pull your adult tooth out is a standard dental procedure yet it might seem intimidating for you and your dentist will only perform it when it absolutely necessary.
Why Would You Need to Pull Your Tooth Out?
A dentist will recommend the removal of a tooth in the following situation:
- A tooth that is badly decayed beyond repair.
- Wisdom toothwhich consistently gets inflamed and infected.
- For orthodontic purposes.
- Very loose teeth that cannot be fixed.
- Baby teeththat do not fall in the right timing, thus making a space for the adult tooth to come out.
How Is It Carried Out?
At your appointment your dentist will need to ask you about any pre-existing medical conditions, you need to make your dentist aware of them so they can take the proper steps regarding your treatment plan. After that, they will request the appropriate x-rays which will aid in the evaluation of tooth’s root angle and curvature.
The actual extraction of a tooth consists of several steps. Firstly, your dentist will numb your mouth using a needle that carry local anesthetic agent to make sure you do not feel any pain throughout the procedure. Secondly, the dentist will place the forceps around the neck of your tooth and will move it in a slowly and steadily movement until it is loose enough to be pulled out. Sometimes if tooth is buried beneath the gum and bone, your dentist will need to make a small incision in your gum in order to access your tooth and take it out; in this case it is called a surgical extraction. Finally, after the removal of the tooth, the dentist will place sterile gauze on the extraction site, in case of surgical removal, some stiches need to be placed as well.
What Should You Expect As a Patient?
As a patient you should expect no pain during the procedure yet you will feel pressure against your tooth when it’s being pulled out. Some sounds of grinding and cracking to be expected as well. After the procedure, the feeling of numbness will last for only a couple of hours; a little bleeding will be present for a couple of days.
The dentist might give you an over the counter painkillers to reduce any discomfort you might feel during the healing process, they will give you a list of instructions that you need to follow meticulously for the next 24 hours to insure the proper healing of your extraction site, these instructions are as follows:
- Leave the gauze in its place for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after your procedure.
- Your diet should mainly be soft food, while trying to avoid hot drinks and hot food as much as possible.
- Avoid disrupting the extracting with your tongue or by inserting any instrument.
- Do not use a straw to drink as it will create negative pressure in your mouth which will disrupt the healing process.
A full healing should be expected in 7 to 10 days, your dentist will request a follow up appointment to check on the socket and removal of any existing stiches.
Complications Might be Associated With Such a Procedure:
Complications that might be associated with tooth extraction are rare but they need to be taken into consideration, these are some of them:
Dry socket, a blood clot will fill the socket in order for the healing process to begin, if this blood clot is dislodged for any reason, severe pain and foul odor from the surgical site will be observed, a visit to your dentist is mandatory, they can clean the site and place a sedative, sterile material to initiate and enhance the healing of the tooth socket.
Nerve damage, can occur mostly while performing surgical extraction, usually it is a transit side effect and your dentist will ask you for a regular follow up to make sure of that.
Perforating the floor of the maxillary sinus, this is common during removal of an upper back tooth; in this case surgical intervention is a must.
--- By Dr. Aisha I A Member of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh since 2019. She graduated from Tripoli University in 2016. She works as a general practitioner with special interest in Implantology.