What is a Dental Extraction?
Dental extractions are among the easiest and best ways to get relief from a toothache. As the name implies, an extraction involves removing the tooth. If your pulp has died or the tooth has become severely infected, extraction may be your only route. Depending on the tooth, the dentist can do either a simple extraction or a more complicated extraction.
These types of extractions, the simple extractions, are the most common in the world of dentistry. During a simple extraction, the dentist will remove the tooth by loosening the gums around the socket. He will grasp the tooth with forceps and move it from side to side until he can get it to break free from the socket and remove it.
The teeth are held to the bone by a thin piece of soft tissue. This soft tissue is known as the periodontal ligament. The dentist uses this tissue to remove the tooth. As you may know, the key to removing a tooth by pulling is to rock the tooth from side to side, which enlarges the socket in the bone and breaks the ligament that helps to hold the tooth in place.
Simple extractions, also known as pulling, do not take long to complete. The dentist will numb you before he starts, so you will not feel anything. Depending on the tooth, pulling it will normally take just a few minutes after you have been numbed with local anesthesia. Once completed, the dentist will place gauze in your mouth to bite on and you will be free to go.
As we all know, not all teeth can be pulled. Sometimes, the tooth will be so decayed or broken off that the dentist will have nothing to grasp above the gum line. In cases such as this, the dentist will need to perform a more complicated extraction, which involves getting the tooth out below the gum line, as he will not be able to use the standard method of pulling and rocking.
These types of extractions involve the dentist making an incision in the gums around the tooth, and raising the flap he cut to expose the bone. Once he has exposed the bone, there may be enough of the tooth exposed for the dentist to grab and remove it using the pulling method. In most cases however, the tooth will be embedded in the bone, meaning that the dentist will be unable to pull the tooth out.
With teeth that are imbedded in the bone, the dentist will need to use a drill and chip away at the bone to get to the tooth. This is known as cutting the tooth out, and happens to be very common with impacted teeth or teeth that are severely decayed. Once the dentist has cut his way to the tooth and removed it, he will sew back the flap of skin that he cut to get to the tooth. The flap of skin and the socket will heal over time - providing you take care of it.
Dental extractions are very common, and happen on a daily basis for dentists. Oral surgeons are the best for extractions, as extractions are all they do. All types of extractions, even the most complex, will take time to heal. As long as you take care of your extraction site, you will avoid common pitfalls such as dry sockets and other mishaps. Although they can be painful once the procedure is over - you will eventually start to feel a lot better once you have had the tooth or teeth removed.
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