Dental Procedures

 

Teeth Extraction / Wisdom Teeth Removal

The main goal of modern dentistry today is the prevention of tooth loss. The loss of a single tooth or multiple teeth can have a large impact on your dental health and appearance. In some situations, once the examination, x-rays and history have been done, the dentist may find it in the best interest of the patient to extract the tooth.

 

Third Molar (Wisdom) Extraction

Common Teeth Extraction Reasons

  • Abscess or infection

  • Heavy decay not allowing for restoration

  • Advanced (gum) periodontal disease

  • Crooked or overcrowded teeth

  • Impacted teeth

  • Fractured (broken) teeth or roots

 

Simple and Complicated Extractions

Extractions can be either termed “simple” or “complicated.” An extraction is usually considered simple if there is enough tooth structure above the bone to grasp onto, making its removal very easy. A simple extraction involves loosening the tooth from its bony socket using forceps and or elevators, and removing the tooth from the bone. There is minimal trauma to the surrounding tissues and area. Most patients will experience little or no discomfort with a simple extraction.

An extraction is usually considered complicated if a tooth is fully or partially covered by bone and soft tissue, or if a tooth has deteriorated so much by decay or large restorations that very little tooth structure remains. In these situations, there is not enough tooth structure to grasp onto, making the extraction procedure more difficult.

A complicated extraction may involve reflecting gum tissues to expose the tooth and surrounding bone. Bone removal may also be needed to expose the tooth and gain access to the area. Sometimes a tooth needs to be sectioned (cut into pieces) to allow its complete removal. In this situation, stitches are generally required. Patients will usually experience some postoperative discomfort for several days following the extraction, such as tenderness of muscles, swelling or bruising. Most of this can be controlled with pain medication prescribed by your dentist and a list of postoperative instructions.

Teeth may also be considered for extraction if they do not function or do not assume their proper position in the arch. Wisdom teeth are the most common teeth to be extracted and generally fall under the “complicated” category.

 

Post-operative Instructions

  • DO NOT DISTURB THE WOUND. In doing so you may invite irritation, infection and/or bleeding. Be sure to chew on the opposite side for 24 hours and keep anything sharp from entering the wound (i.e. eating utensils etc.).
  • DO NOT SMOKE FOR 12 HOURS. Smoking will promote bleeding and interfere with healing.
  • BRUSHING. Do not brush your teeth for the first 8 hours after surgery. After, you may brush your teeth gently, but avoid the area of surgery.
  • MOUTH WASH. Avoid all rinsing for 24 hours after extraction. This is to insure the formation of a healing blood clot which is essential to proper wound healing. Disturbance of this clot can lead to increased bleeding or the loss of the blood clot. If the clot is lost, a painful condition called dry socket may occur. You may use warm salt water or mild antiseptic rinses after 24 hours only if prescribed.
  • DO NOT SPIT OR SUCK THROUGH A STRAW. This will promote bleeding and may dislodge the blood clot causing a dry socket.
  • BLEEDING. When you leave the office, you will be given verbal instructions regarding the control of postoperative bleeding. A rolled up gauze pad will be placed on the extraction site and you will be asked to change this dressing every 20 minutes or so depending on the amount of bleeding that is occurring. It is normal for some blood to ooze from the area of surgery. We will also give you a package of gauze to take with you to use at home if the bleeding should continue. Should you need to use the gauze at home, remember to roll it into a ball large enough to cover the wound. Hold firmly in place, by biting or with finger pressure, for about 20-30 minutes. If bleeding still continues, you may fold a tea bag in half and bite down on it. Tea contains Tannic Acid, a styptic, which may help to reduce the bleeding.
  • PAIN.Some discomfort is normal after surgery. Analgesic tablets ( i.e. Aspirin, Tylenol etc. ) may be taken under your dentist's direction. Prescription medication, which may have been given to you, should also be taken as directed. If pain continues, call your dentist.
  • SWELLING. To prevent swelling, apply an ice pack or a cold towel to the outside of your face in the area of the extraction during the first 12 hours. Apply alternately, 20 minutes on then 20 minutes off, for an hour or longer if necessary.
  • DIET.Eat normal regular meals as soon as you are able after surgery. Cold, soft food such as ice cream or yogurt may be the most comfortable for the first day. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids.
  • REPORT ANY UNUSUAL OCCURRENCES IMMEDIATELY!