Tooth extraction is the removal of a severely damaged tooth from its socket, which can’t be repaired due to severe tooth decay, gum disease, infection, or trauma. Other reasons include needing to create room for another dental treatment (such as braces), wisdom teeth complications, baby teeth that won’t fall out, and joint problems in your jaw.
There are two types of dental extractions: simple and surgical. The dental surgeon will determine which one is the best for you according to the tooth’s shape, location, size, position, and condition. Healing time will be different for everyone, but improvement should be seen every day. Needing stitches to close the wound, bruising, and infection could make recovery take longer; if not, gradual recovery should be expected within 2 weeks. Regardless of the type of tooth extraction performed, the patient will need to follow up some instructions for it to be successful:
Keep the gauze in place for 2 hours after your procedure. This helps to control bleeding by forming a blood clot.
Rest for 24 hours following the extraction and avoid exercise as directed.
Don’t rinse, spit, use a straw, or suck on any candy, to prevent any blood clot from dislodging.
After 24 hours, rinse your mouth with a salt solution. This will help kill bacteria in the mouth.
Avoid smoking and drinking.
Avoid hot, carbonated, hard, and spicy food. Instead, choose soft foods, such as soups, yogurts, and pureed fruits, for example.
To help decrease swelling when lying down, use pillows to elevate your head and avoid sleeping sideways.
Types of tooth extraction
There are two types of dental extraction:
- Simple Extraction
Performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth. The dentist uses an elevator to loosen the tooth and forceps to remove it. The discomfort level is usually low with this type of teeth removal, and recovery may be easier.
- Surgical Extraction
Performed on teeth that are not easily accessible in the mouth. This may be because they have not erupted through the gum completely, or they have been fractured under the gum line. It typically requires an incision to the connective tissue to gain access to the tooth to be removed, which makes it a more complex procedure than a simple extraction.
Does tooth extraction hurt?
Pain sensations may occur, depending on the complexity of your dental extraction. You may feel the pinch of the needle as your dentist numbs up your teeth and gums, as well as the back-and-forth pressure that is used to loosen up a tooth. However, the dentist will typically give you local anesthesia to help you feel as comfortable as possible.
Also, following the procedure, the dentist will recommend prescription medication to help you manage the pain. Overall you shouldn’t feel any severe pain but only some discomfort that will easily pass away.