Tooth extractions are routine dental procedures used to remove decayed, damaged or otherwise problematic teeth. We here at Zen Orthodontic & Dental Care, usually make every effort to preserve natural teeth, although sometimes an extraction is necessary. Depending on which teeth are removed, they may be replaced with a dental implant or Crown/Bridge.
Other reasons for a tooth extraction include making space in the mouth for braces or other orthodontic treatment, or in the case of paediatric patients, to allow room for adult teeth to grow.
Frequently asked questions
What are the steps involved in a tooth extraction?
Regular Tooth Extraction:
A tooth that has fully erupted through the gum line can usually be removed as easily as any other tooth via a regular extraction.
Surgical Tooth Extraction and Oral Surgery:
A wisdom tooth or other tooth that is impacted or is still under the gum line or embedded in the jaw bone may require a surgical extraction, which is a form of oral surgery. A surgical extraction means the Oral Surgeon-specialist will make an incision along your gum line to expose the tooth, and remove any bone that is still covering the tooth to allow it to be removed.
The specialist may recommend extracting one tooth at a time, or focus on one area of your mouth at a time. Before removing the tooth, he or she will numb the surrounding tissue with a local anaesthetic.
Once the area has been numbed, the specialist will remove the tooth, control any bleeding, and if necessary, may use sutures (stitches) to close the gums. Your dentist may prescribe or recommend over the counter medications to help control any post-procedure pain or swelling.
Wisdom Tooth Extractions:
Wisdom teeth do not always have to cause you pain to cause future problems. The movement of surrounding teeth caused by wisdom teeth is often slow, and may not cause any pain. However, if you or a loved one have had braces or other orthodontic treatment, crowding from wisdom teeth can potentially un-do that work, resulting in crooked and misaligned teeth and jaws, as well as wisdom teeth pain.
Our team will review your x-rays and the positioning of your wisdom teeth at your regular check-up visits. He or she may recommend removing some or all of your wisdom teeth to help alleviate any pain, swelling or infection you may currently have, or to avoid future problems. Additionally, your dentist may recommend removing wisdom teeth earlier rather than later, because future extractions may become more painful or complicated, or even result in a dental emergency.
Paediatric Dental Extractions for Children:
The tooth extraction procedure and recovery for pediatric patients is very similar to that of adults.
Dental Extractions for Orthodontics & Braces:
Sometimes, orthodontic treatment is needed to facilitate other dental procedures such as crowns, veneers and implants. Also, certain orthodontic problems require collaboration with oral surgeons (for example: to expose impacted teeth or correct severe bite problems and facial deformities). Our dentist and Orthodontic specialist use this team-based approach as a part of our comprehensive suite of treatment services.
Post-procedure care for Dental Extractions:
It is very important for patients to follow the post-procedure recovery instructions, which includes avoiding smoking, chewing hard or tough foods, and strenuous physical activity for a period of time to allow the gums and jaw to heal.
After an extraction, some pain and swelling can be expected for a while. Our team will tell you what you might expect, and also let you know when it may be a good idea to call the office to report if you are experiencing any problems beyond what is normally expected, such as bleeding or a dry socket.
Once the healing process is complete, people who have had tooth extractions can typically get right back to life as usual.
Are tooth extractions painful? What can I expect?
Some pain, swelling and bleeding are to be expected after most extractions. Each extraction is different and everyone experiences pain and recovery differently. We at Zen Orthodontic & Dental care will provide a post-extraction instruction guide after your procedure. This guide contains helpful information to make your recovery as speedy and complete as possible and avoid common issues such as dry sockets or pulled sutures.
We will also explain what signs to look for that may tell you it’s time to call our office. If you had a surgical extraction, we will give you a post-op courtesy call a day or two after your procedure to see how you are feeling or if you have any questions. We are happy to answer your questions any time.