Why are teeth extracted?
- Teeth are extracted for various reasons:
- Caries advanced deep into the tooth
- An infection has destroyed an important portion of the tooth or surrounding bone
- In the mouth there is not enough space for all teeth
Many dentists recommend removing retained teeth that only partially erupted. Bacteria are deposited around these teeth and can cause an infection, which can spread to the bone and become an extremely serious disorder. The retained teeth continue to try to come out through the gingival tissue, even if there is not enough room for them. Continuous pressure, caused by this attempted eruption, may end up damaging the roots of adjacent teeth. Removing a frequently retained tooth prevents infections and damage to adjacent teeth and bone, as well as avoid future pain.
How are teeth extracted?
Before you remove a tooth, the dentist will carefully study your medical and dental history, and take the appropriate x-rays.
X-rays reveal the length, shape, position of the tooth and the surrounding bone. From this information, the dentist will estimate the degree of difficulty of the procedure and decide whether to refer it to a specialist called a dental surgeon.
Prior to removal, the dentist will anesthetize the area surrounding the tooth. To do this, use a local anesthetic that numbs the area of the mouth where the extraction will be performed.
In a simple extraction, once the area is anesthetized, the dentist loosens the tooth with the aid of an instrument called an elevator and then extracts it with dental forceps. You may want to smooth and reshape the underlying bone. Once finished, decide if it is convenient to close the area with a dot.
What should I expect after an extraction?
Keeping the area clean and preventing infection immediately after a tooth is removed is critical. The dentist will ask you to gently bite a piece of dried sterile gauze, which you should keep there for 30 to 45 minutes to reduce bleeding while clotting occurs. During the next 24 hours, you should not smoke, rinse your mouth vigorously, or clean your teeth near the extraction site. A degree of pain and discomfort after extraction is to be expected. In some cases, the dentist will recommend a pain reliever or prescribe one. Applying an ice pack to the face for 15-minute periods can relieve discomfort.
It is also advisable to limit vigorous activities and avoid hot liquids. The day after the removal, the dentist will suggest that you begin to gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water (do not swallow water). Under normal circumstances, discomfort should subside within a period ranging from three days to two weeks after removal. If you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever, call your dentist immediately.