The surgical removal of teeth is a common procedure performed by oral surgeons. It becomes a necessary procedure to prevent further damage when the problems related to the teeth begin to cause pain and infections.
Learn More About Tooth Extractions
Teeth are extracted for a variety of reasons. These include:
- Severe tooth decay
- Advanced periodontal disease
- Fractured or broken teeth that cannot be repaired.
- Impacted teeth or teeth that are poorly positioned in the mouth
- In preparation for orthodontic treatment
Wisdom teeth often need to be extracted when they are impacted or unable to erupt in the proper position for chewing or cleaning. Read more about them here:
Depending on the patient’s age, health, and comfort level, sedation or general anesthesia may also be used. The surgeon will need to numb your tooth, jawbone, and gums that surround the area with the anesthetic.
During the extraction process, you will only feel some pressure due to the firm rocking of the tooth, which is done to widen the socket for removal. You feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves, stopping pain transference. The nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected.
Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is firmly anchored in its socket, or the root is curved, and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.
The removal of any tooth has a risk of creating further problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health. To avoid these complications, in most cases, Dr. Sonneveld will discuss alternatives to extractions and the replacement of the extracted tooth. Bone grafting is considered after a tooth extraction if there is a lack of bone in the area where the tooth was removed.
Patients typically experience some level of postoperative pain after having a tooth extracted. The pain is easily managed by over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Once the tooth has been removed, pressure will be applied to the site using gauze to help with blood clotting in the tooth socket. It is critical not to disturb or remove the clot once it has formed. For the next 24 hours, avoid any activities that may increase your blood pressure, as this may cause more bleeding from the extraction site. For the next 72 hours, do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol, or brush your teeth near the extraction site. These activities might dislodge or dissolve the clot and cause it to heal more slowly.
Patients are also encouraged to rinse their mouth with warm salt water every hour for the first day after surgery to reduce swelling and bleeding. Refer to our Surgical Instructions page for detailed care instructions before and after an oral surgery.
Some risks associated with tooth extractions include damage to the surrounding teeth, nerves or sinuses, and excessive bleeding. Oral surgeons are experienced in providing postoperative care for patients who have had a tooth extraction.
The benefits of having a tooth extracted include relief from pain and infection and prevention of further damage to the surrounding teeth. This also results in better periodontal health and reduced need for additional dental procedures.
Patients interested in dental implants may also be referred to an oral surgeon for removal of their teeth as a specialized surgical procedure that protects the bone surrounding the teeth and provides a better implant site.
An oral surgeon is trained to handle any possible complications that may arise during or after the procedure. As an oral maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Sonneveld can recommend supportive treatments or follow-up procedures based on your unique oral health needs.