Tooth extraction refers to the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. Extraction can be performed on teeth that are impacted or damaged, or to create room in the mouth for straightening of the remaining teeth.
What is it?
Extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket due to extreme damage to the tooth, a crowded mouth, infection, or risk of infection. Extraction can also be done in children to remove baby teeth early on to allow for more space for adult teeth to grow in.
What should I do to prepare?
Complete necessary x-rays, discuss antibiotic options with your dentist, and do not smoke the day of the extraction. Discuss if you need to fast before extraction to prevent nausea from anesthesia.
What happens during the process?
A local anesthetic is applied to numb the area where the tooth will be extracted. Based on the number of teeth pulled or if the tooth is impacted, a stronger anesthetic may be used. The tooth is then pulled out, using a gripping tool that holds onto the tooth. Once the tooth is removed, a blood clot forms in the socket and gauze will be padded down to stop the bleeding.
What are the risks and potential complications?
Sometimes, self-dissolving stitches will be used to close the gum edges if the bleeding is more than expected. If the blood clot breaks loose and bone is exposed in the socket, a sedative dressing will be placed over the socket for a few days as the new clot forms. Antibiotics may be needed beforehand if there is a condition that elevates the risk of developing infections.
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