Simple Tooth Extractions 1

Simple Tooth Extractions

It can sometimes occur that a tooth needs to be entirely removed from your mouth. As you can probably imagine, your dentist will not want to extract teeth from your mouth unless it is medically necessary and there is no other, better option available. Some reasons for why a tooth would need to be extracted include the fact that the tooth has suffered from extensive damage due to decay or trauma and is simply not repairable, the tooth is deeply infected but cannot be effectively saved by a root canal or there is severe crowding of teeth in either the upper or lower jaw which cannot be easily resolved with basic orthodontic procedures. In some rare cases, a tooth extraction may be performed because the individual cannot afford these other dental treatments and will suffer if the tooth remains in the mouth. This, of course, would necessitate a discussion between the dentist and the patient to go over the long-term benefits and drawbacks of extracting the tooth in order to determine which option is the best for the patient.

When a tooth extraction is necessary and prudent, there are two basic types of tooth extractions: simple tooth extractions and surgical tooth extractions. As one would imagine, simple tooth extractions are the easier of the two.

Understanding Simple Tooth Extractions

Simple tooth extractions occur when the dentist is able to remove the tooth entirely from above the gum. This usually requires that the tooth have straight roots and enough structure above the gum that the dentist will be able to use forceps to grab onto and remove the tooth. It does not require that the tooth be cut into pieces for removal, or any incision be made in the soft gum tissues in order for the dentist to be able to grab onto and remove the tooth.

For a simple tooth extraction, the dentist will:

  • Thoroughly review your health history in order to determine if there are any types of medications that may be warranted in order to help prevent against possible complications or infections, or whether medications you are currently taking could interfere with your comfort or safety during the procedure. For example, patients who are taking blood thinning medications may need to consult with their physician and temporarily suspend them so as not to experience prolonged bleeding as a result of their tooth extraction.
  • Consult with you to determine how best to ensure your comfort during the procedure. Some individuals prefer to be sedated during their tooth extractions so that they are more comfortable throughout the procedure, and this can be discussed with your dentist beforehand to determine what option will work best to meet your needs.
  • Administer a local anesthetic to numb the extraction site. This will help to ensure your comfort during the tooth extraction. Sometimes the dentist will first apply a topical anesthetic so as to numb the injection site as well.
  • Loosen the tooth by releasing it from the periodontal ligament fibers. A tooth cannot be extracted easily without first releasing the periodontal ligament fibers that hold it in place.
  • Elevate the tooth. A dental instrument called an elevator is used to apply the necessary leverage to the tooth so that there is more space around the tooth and it can be more easily removed.
  • Remove the tooth. Using forceps, the dentist will remove the tooth smoothly out of the socket.
  • Minimize bleeding. Bleeding is normally minimal once a tooth has been extracted, but the dentist will apply firm pressure to the tooth socket in order to further minimize bleeding.

Following your tooth extraction, the dentist will explain what you should expect to experience, and what home care is necessary to ensure that the extraction site heals well and you have only minimal discomfort. If the tooth was removed due to infection, you may notice significant pain relief in a short period of time. However, it is also necessary to consider replacing the tooth so as to prevent your remaining, natural teeth from shifting into the gap that was created by the extraction. If the tooth was removed due to overcrowding, you may notice that your remaining teeth shift slightly into better positions over time. Whatever the reason for the tooth extraction, however, you should experience more benefits as a result of this procedure than drawbacks, and enjoy better oral health as a result.


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