A dental extraction, commonly known as tooth extraction or tooth pulling, involves the removal of teeth from their sockets in the alveolar bone. This procedure is performed for various reasons, such as:
- Removing teeth that are beyond repair due to tooth decay, periodontal disease, or dental trauma, often associated with toothaches.
- Addressing impacted wisdom teeth that can cause recurrent gum infections (pericoronitis).
- Creating space in crowded teeth as part of orthodontic treatment, which may involve extracting sound teeth like bicuspids.
Most tooth extractions are relatively straightforward and can be performed with local anesthetic injections to eliminate pain. While local anesthetic blocks pain, patients may still feel some mechanical forces during the procedure. However, some extractions can be more challenging due to factors like tooth position, root shape, or tooth integrity.
Dental anxiety can be a concern for some individuals, making tooth extraction more intimidating than other dental procedures like fillings. In cases where a tooth is deeply embedded in the bone, a surgical approach may be necessary, involving gum incisions and removal of bone with a surgical drill. Stitches are used to reposition the gum to its normal state after extraction.
Following a tooth extraction, it's essential to follow specific guidelines to promote proper healing:
- A bite pack is used immediately after extraction to apply pressure to the tooth socket and control bleeding.
- Do not disturb the blood clot in the socket by avoiding touching the area with your finger or tongue.
- Avoid vigorous rinsing of the mouth, strenuous activity, and sucking through straws, as these can dislodge the blood clot or lead to "dry socket," a painful condition that delays healing.
- Avoid smoking for at least 24 hours, as it impairs wound healing and increases the risk of dry socket.
- Many dentists recommend warm saltwater mouth rinses, typically starting 24 hours after the extraction, to aid in healing.
Proper post-extraction care plays a crucial role in preventing complications and ensuring a smooth recovery. If you have concerns about a tooth extraction or require this procedure, please don't hesitate to contact Bank Street Dentistry at 613-241-1010. Our experienced dentist, Dr. Nasrin Saba, can provide guidance, perform extractions, and offer post-extraction care instructions. You can visit us at 1189 Bank Street in Ottawa, ON, to schedule your appointment and address any dental extraction needs.