Why are the teeth extracted?
The teeth are extracted for various reasons:
- Caries advanced deep into the tooth
- An infection has destroyed a significant portion of the tooth or surrounding bone
- In the mouth there is not enough space for all the teeth
Many dentists recommend removing retained teeth that only partially erupted. Bacteria are deposited around these teeth and can cause an infection, which can spread to the bone and turn into an extremely serious condition. The retained teeth continue to try to leave through the gum tissue, even if there is not enough space for them. Continuous pressure, caused by this attempt to erupt, may end up damaging the roots of the adjacent teeth. Extraction of a retained tooth often prevents infections and damage to adjacent teeth and bone, as well as avoiding pain in the future.
How are the teeth extracted?
Before removing a tooth, the dentist will carefully study your medical and dental history, and will take appropriate x-rays.
X-rays reveal the length, shape, position of the tooth and surrounding bone. From this information, the dentist will estimate the degree of difficulty of the procedure and decide if it will be referred to a specialist called oral surgeon.
Before the extraction, the dentist will anesthetize the area surrounding the tooth. To do this, use a local anesthetic that numbs the area of the mouth where the extraction will take place.
In a simple extraction, once the area is anesthetized, the dentist loosens the tooth with the help of an instrument called an elevator and then removes it with dental forceps. You may want to smooth and reshape the underlying bone. Once it is finished, it will decide if it is convenient to close the area with a point.
What should I expect after an extraction?
It is essential to keep the area clean and prevent infections immediately after the extraction of a tooth. The dentist will ask you to gently bite a piece of dry sterile gauze, which you must hold there for 30 to 45 minutes to reduce bleeding while coagulation occurs. During the next 24 hours, you should not smoke, rinse your mouth vigorously, or clean your teeth near the extraction site. Some degree of pain and discomfort is expected after an extraction. In some cases, the dentist will recommend an analgesic or prescribe one. Applying an ice pack on the face for periods of 15 minutes can relieve discomfort. It is also advisable to limit vigorous activities and avoid hot liquids. The day after the extraction, the dentist will suggest that you start gently rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (do not swallow the water). Under normal circumstances, discomfort should decrease within a period that ranges from three days to two weeks after extraction. If you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever, call your dentist immediately.