There are circumstances when a tooth—or several teeth—cannot be repaired or saved and tooth extraction is necessary. A tooth extraction removes the entire tooth, including its root, from the gum and jawbone, leaving a space. Teeth may need to be extracted due to gum disease, severe decay, or infection, but they may also need to be removed to make room for other teeth, such as in the case of baby teeth or overcrowding, or to prevent misalignment. Whatever the reason, tooth extractions are surprisingly common and can often be rectified through a variety of restorative dentistry options.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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 in Dallas, Lewisville, Aubrey, The Colony, McKinney, Arlington, and Highland Village, you can be confident you’ll receive the very best in oral treatment services, from routine cleanings and checkups to cosmetic and restorative dentistry.