Surgical vs. Simple Tooth Extractions
The type of extraction your tooth or teeth receives depends on several variables, including the location and type of tooth, the severity and anatomy of the damage, and whether or not the gum, jaw, sinuses, or other facial features are impacted.
Simple tooth extractions are for teeth that are visible and easily accessible, so they do not require incisions or sutures and can be performed in the general dentist’s office. Patients receive a local anesthetic at the site of the extraction and may also be offered Nitrous Oxide (N2O), also known as laughing gas, to make the procedure less stressful. Simple extractions remove the tooth and its roots and extraction sites typically heal fairly quickly.
Sometimes a tooth extraction is a little more complicated and requires an incision to remove the tooth. Surgical extractions are typically performed by an oral surgeon. Surgical extractions are necessary when the damaged tooth is either inaccessible or impacted (below the gum line), especially in instances such as:
- Infection in the bone or teeth
- Teeth that have been trapped or impacted below the gum line
- Cracked or broken teeth with roots remaining below the gum line
- Third molars, commonly known as wisdom teeth
- Teeth with entangled or curved roots
- Patients with overly large sinuses
Tooth Extraction Care
Removing a tooth leaves a large hole in your gum, and caring for your teeth and gums after an extraction is essential to ensure proper healing. Most people recover from an extraction within a few days, but there are measures you can take to reduce any pain and prevent further complications.
The gap from your tooth will be packed with gauze. Leave this gauze in for several hours.
- Rest and relax for the first 24 hours to avoid dislodging the blood clot your gum is making to aid in healing.
- Avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods for a few days, opting instead for soft foods that are easier to eat.
- Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory before the anesthetic wears off to minimize pain and swelling.
- Avoid brushing the gums where the tooth was extracted. To clean the area, rinse with warm water.
- Don’t drink with a straw; the suction can cause the healing tissue to rupture and dislodge the clot.
If your incision required stitches, your dentist will let you know if they need to be removed after a few days or if they will dissolve on their own.
What is a dry socket?
In some cases, the blood clot in the socket is jarred loose, creating a dry socket that exposes the bones and nerves in the gum. A dry socket is painful and needs to be treated to prevent infection. Your dentist will repack the socket to allow a new clot to form. Signs you may have developed a dry socket include:
- Pain within three days of the extraction
- Throbbing pain in the jaw that may spread up to the ear, eye, or neck
- Bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth
At Dental Depot, we believe every member of your family deserves quality, comprehensive dental care. In addition to highly trained dentists and dental hygienists, our experienced staff of dental professionals includes orthodontists, periodontists, and oral surgeons, allowing us to provide an expansive range of services, all at one location. When you visit any of our DFW area Dental Depot offices, you can be confident you’ll receive the very best in oral treatment services, from routine cleanings and checkups to cosmetic and restorative dentistry.