Dental extraction is the process of removing an infected or damaged tooth from its socket. When a tooth is broken or decayed, the dentist tries to fix it by means such as filling, crowns, root canal, etc. But if it can't be saved by any of them, then it will have to be removed. Here are some of the reasons dental extraction surgeries are performed:
- When a tooth is decayed severely, it will have to be removed in order to prevent infecting the adjoining teeth.
- When a tooth is broken partially by external trauma and it can't be repaired by bonding, it will have to be removed.
- When there are extra teeth which block the other ones.
- When braces have to be installed, teeth have to be removed on either side in order to make space for the other teeth to move.
- In children, milk teeth may have to be removed manually if they don't fall off on themselves in order to make space for permanent teeth.
- When there is a gum disease and it causes an infection in the nearby tooth.
- Local anesthesia is given to the gums in order to numb the area.
- As the root of the tooth is firmly encased in the jawbone, the socket has to be expanded. For this, the tooth is moved by shaking horizontally in order to loosen it.
- When the tooth is loose enough to be pulled out from the socket, it is extracted.
Sometimes, dental tools are used to extract the teeth. They are:
- Dental elevators: The elevator has a blade-like tip which is wedged into the space between the tooth and the surrounding bone. When the elevator is twisted, it expands the socket and frees the tooth from the jawbone. It can then be pulled out easily.
- Extraction forceps: They are used to grip the tooth which has to be extracted. There are different types of forceps to extract frontal and backward teeth.
After the tooth has been removed, the extraction site has to be closed properly to avoid further infections. The walls should be scraped and washed in order to remove any residual bone. The gums have to be pressed so that the loosened socket will regain its shape. If there's excess bleeding, a clot-inducing agent has to be introduced. If there's excessive swelling, an ice pack can be used to reduce it.
Sometimes, the extraction becomes complicated. This usually happens when a tooth is broken off at the gums and there isn't enough tooth to hold on to. In such a case, an incision has to be made into the gum and the tooth is removed surgically. After the surgery, the patient is advised not to have any spicy or hot food for a few days as it would cause irritation and pain. Smoking has to be avoided too. Eating cold food is a good way of reducing the swelling and it also soothes the wound.