Also known as exodontia, extraction is a dental process that involves removing a tooth from the mouth. Dental Extractions are usually performed because of severe decay that makes the affected tooth non-restorable. In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth are also extracted while extractions of permanent teeth are seldom performed in an attempt to make room for orthodontic treatment.
An extraction surgery is typically recommended when the tooth can’t be saved by a root canal treatment. If the dentist recommends dental extraction, it is important to undergo the procedure as tooth extraction can be really useful in keeping infection from spreading to other regions of the mouth.
About the Procedure
Before the tooth is removed, the patient is given a local anesthetic in order to make the specific area of the mouth numb. This is generally known as a simple dental extraction. However, the dentist may use general anesthetic for surgical dental extraction if the patient requires removal of several teeth or if the affected teeth can’t be accessed easily. After the removal, stitches may be required and the patient is asked to bite down on a gauze pad in order to stop bleeding. The extracted tooth can later have a replacement with a denture, an implant or a bridge.
After the Procedure
For a patient who has undergone the extraction surgery, the recovery phase is just a matter of a few days. And there are certain steps that can be taken to speed the recovery:
- Painkillers should be taken as prescribed by the dentist.
- After a day of undergoing the surgical procedure, the mouth should be gently rinsed with salt water a couple of times throughout the day for reducing swelling and relieving pain.
- Gauze pads should be changed before they get soaked with blood.
- The patient should relax following the procedure as physical activity tends to cause an increase in bleeding.
- Smoking should be avoided.
- Soft foods like gelatin, soups or pudding should be eaten. Solid foods should be added gradually to the diet as the mouth heals.
- Lying flat can prolong bleeding. Propping up the head with pillows is a good idea as well.
- The area shouldn’t be rubbed with tongue.
- Teeth should be brushed carefully.
If the procedure requires stitches, the patient will be informed by the dentist whether the stitches would dissolve overtime or if the stitches will have to be removed,