Tooth Extractions

Tooth Extractions

A tooth extraction refers the procedure of removing a tooth from its socket.

Before we start, it’s important that you notify your dentist of your medical condition, such as, whether you have any artificial joints, diabetes, or a history of heart and valve conditions. You should also inform your dentist of any medications you are currently or have previously taken, such as, Redux, Phen Fen, blood thinners, or importantly medications that contain Biphosphonates, like Fosamax.

So here’s how an extraction is done.

First, a local anesthetic is applied to make the procedure more comfortable. In some cases, your dentist will elect to use nitrous oxide gas in addition to the anesthetic. Once the area is numb, the extraction begins. A dental instrument, called an elevator, is used to wiggle the tooth in its socket. After the tooth is loosened it is removed using forceps or in some more complicated cases a surgical hand piece is also used to assist with the removal of the tooth.

Like most other procedures, tooth extraction is not free of possible complications, you should be aware that there is a slight chance of:

  • Infection
  • Tenderness
  • Prolonged bleeding and Hematoma
  • Dry Socket
  • Loosening of neighboring teeth, or their fillings or crowns
  • Another rare possibility is a tooth being displaced into the sinus during an extraction of an upper tooth.
  • Lastly, jaw fracture is also a very rare possibility.

You need to be aware of the importance of replacing the missing tooth. Why?

Once a tooth is removed the space created by the missing tooth will allow the surrounding teeth to shift into that space. This shift could cause a misalignment in your mouth that can result in chewing or jaw joint problems. These shifted teeth are harder to clean making them more susceptible to gum disease, decay, or even additional tooth loss. For these reasons, it’s important to replace the tooth with a dental appliance, such as, a bridge, a removable partial denture, or an implant.

In some instances, you may be considering the option of pulling a tooth rather than simply repairing it. While it may be less expensive in the short run, in the long run it may cost you more. As you just heard, once a tooth is pulled you still need to fill the space with a dental appliance to avoid future complications. If you add the cost of extraction plus the replacement of the tooth you may simply be better off repairing it.

Please be sure to ask your dentist for proper home care and post operative instruction care.