Dentists are currently focused on preserving the teeth of their patients. However, certain conditions cannot be remedied through therapeutic procedures. In such cases, surgical dentistry methods become necessary.
Modern tooth extraction procedures are performed with utmost care and attention to ensure maximum patient safety and comfort.
Tooth extraction, deemed one of the most daunting dental procedures, is typically avoided by patients. Many patients are primarily concerned about the pain associated with the procedure, which can be effectively managed through sedation and modern anesthetics and equipment. As such, tooth extraction can now be performed with minimal discomfort.
Nonetheless, advancements in dentistry have significantly reduced the number of indications for tooth removal.
Tooth removal is necessary for impacted or incorrectly positioned teeth, extensive damage or inflammation, and advanced disease. Wisdom teeth and atypical teeth are common culprits. Surgery is only used in extreme cases. Chronic infections may also require the removal tooth.
Tooth extraction requires special preparation for specific patient populations, including those with cardiovascular diseases, kidney or liver diseases, blood diseases, mental disorders, and more. It should be avoided during pregnancy, radiation therapy, and oral mucosal disorders.
An X-ray determines the number of tooth roots, their location, and neighboring structures for safe tooth extraction. Dentists or oral surgeons can do tooth extractions for various reasons, such as decay or making room for dentures or braces. Wisdom teeth are commonly removed.
Stitches or other procedures may be needed to control bleeding, and a gauze will be placed over the extraction site to absorb blood and start the clotting process.
Anesthetizing the tooth is the first step – this can relieve toothache and prevent future problems. The anesthesia method is chosen based on the treatment volume and the patient’s health. Local anesthesia is often used, and general anesthesia is used for complex or multiple extractions.
Tooth extraction can be simple or surgical, depending on the tooth’s position. Wisdom teeth often require surgical removal. Skilled surgeons and modern equipment minimize tissue injury and complications. The type of intervention needed depends on the situation.
Before tooth extraction, a patient may need to rinse their mouth with antiseptic. Blood-thinning medications can cause more bleeding, but the dentist can control it during the procedure. The dentist will ask about medical history and medications and may recommend stopping or starting certain medications before surgery.
Patients taking blood thinners should inform the dentist but generally do not need to stop taking them before extraction. Consult with a dentist or doctor before stopping any medication.
The anesthesia for tooth removal depends on the tooth being extracted. General anesthesia is used for surgical extractions. A local anesthetic injection is given before the procedure to numb the area. Anxiety can be treated with additional anesthetics or sedatives.
Dentists may prescribe antibiotics for dental infections with fever, malaise, and mouth swelling before tooth extraction. Toothaches without swelling do not require antibiotics. High-risk individuals for infective endocarditis may need antibiotics before dental surgery. These include those with certain heart conditions or a history of infective endocarditis.
To promote faster recovery after tooth extraction, following some precautions, such as avoiding eating for two hours, refraining from hot food and drinks, and not touching the extraction site, is essential. Prosthetics may be needed after extraction, and implants are a popular option.
It’s critical to attend regular check-ups with the dentist and follow their recommendations for postoperative care, including prescribed medications and avoiding disruptive behaviors. Soft, nutritious food and plenty of fluids should be consumed to promote healing, and solid food should be gradually reintroduced.
After tooth extraction, continue brushing and flossing carefully. Rinse with warm salt water a few times a day.
A possible complication is a dry socket, causing severe pain and bad breath. If this occurs, contact the dentist. Treatment includes rinsing and applying a medicated paste. Infection is another possible complication, with symptoms like swelling, pus, redness, fever, and swollen glands in the neck. Follow postoperative care instructions and choose a qualified professional.