Permanent teeth were meant to last a lifetime, yet there are a number of reasons why tooth extraction which is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone may be needed.
If a tooth has been broken or damaged by decay, your dentist will try to fix it with a filling, crown or other dental treatment. All efforts to avoid tooth extraction must be exhausted before the decision is made to proceed with removal of a tooth. Nevertheless, there are circumstances in which it is clear that tooth extraction is necessary, such as the following:
- There’s too much damage for the tooth to be repaired
- Infection or risk of infection
- Crowding or extra teeth that block other teeth from coming in.
- Baby teeth that haven’t fallen out in time to allow the permanent teeth to come in.
- People getting braces may need teeth extracted to create room for the teeth that are being moved into place.
- People receiving cancer drugs may develop infected teeth because these drugs weaken the immune system.
- Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are often extracted either before or after they come in.
Many might not know that teeth must be removed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who is trained for 4 to 6 years after obtaining a dental or medical degree.
Tooth extraction must be performed in accordance with surgical principles, because it leaves a surgical wound that must heal properly.
Like all surgical procedures, tooth extraction requires careful medical evaluation of the patient. Patients with diabetes, hypertension, renal disease, thyroid disease, adrenal disease, or other organ disease must be treated and their disease controlled before tooth extraction. Because the oral cavity is full of microorganisms, any surgical procedure in this area may give rise to postoperative infection, especially in patients with a compromised immune system.
The procedure before pulling the tooth is,
- Your dentist will give you an injection of a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. If you are having more than one tooth pulled or if a tooth is impacted, your dentist may use a strong general anesthetic. This will prevent pain throughout your body and make you sleep through the procedure.
- If the tooth is impacted, the dentist will cut away gum and bone tissue that cover the tooth and then, using forceps, grasp the tooth and gently rock it back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone and ligaments that hold it in place. Sometimes, a hard-to-pull tooth must be removed in pieces.
- Once the tooth has been pulled, a blood clot usually forms in the socket. The dentist will pack a gauze pad into the socket and have you bite down on it to help stop the bleeding. Sometimes the dentist will place a few stitches usually self dissolving to close the gum edges over the extraction site.
During the procedure, you can expect to feel pressure, but no pain.