Tooth Extractions: What to Expect
Although it sounds complicated, a tooth extraction is a routine procedure that is painless when performed by our experienced dentists, and the recovery process is usually equally simple.
Causes for Tooth Extraction
There are many reasons why a dental healthcare provider would recommend extracting one or more teeth. A common reason is due to severe tooth decay beyond what is reasonable to restore. Other reasons for extractions are extensive infection around the apex of the tooth or to periodontal bone loss around the tooth. In these cases, an extraction is performed to cure the infection and eliminate pain.
Extractions are for the most part uneventful procedures that last only a few minutes. Usually, the dentist will have already taken x-rays of the teeth prior to the procedure. The tooth, gum and bone will then be anesthetized using a local numbing agent. Once the extraction begins, patients should feel only pressure – not pain. In most cases, the dentist can remove the tooth using only applied pressure to the socket and dental forceps, rather than surgical intervention.
Following a dental extraction, the dentist will have a very specific set of instructions for caring for the extraction site in the hours and days following the tooth removal. Usually, this involves leaving gauze on the extraction site to minimize bleeding for the first few hours.
As long as the extraction site is kept clean and patients follow the instructions for care, the gums should heal without complication or infection. Furthermore, if necessary and once the extraction site heals, the dentist can replace one or more missing teeth with a bridge, or a permanent dental implant for both functional and aesthetic purposes.