Monday, July 14, 2014


Reasons for Recommending Tooth Extraction
Teeth may need to be extracted for several reasons, including but not limited to:
  • severe periodontal disease
  • irreversible damage to the nerve tissue inside the tooth (and the patient decides against saving the tooth)
  • failed endodontic therapy
  • extreme fracture or decay of the tooth structure
  • improper positioning of the tooth or for orthodontic purposes
To a great extent, the reason for the extraction will influence the amount of discomfort you might experience subsequent to the procedure. When the tooth is to be extracted for periodontal reasons, there will be reduced bone support for the tooth and the tooth might be removed more easily than if there were full bone support. In this case, there might be lessened discomfort following the extraction.

The Procedure
1. Numb the tooth: Your dentist will need to anesthetize (numb up) both your tooth and the bone and gum tissue that surround it. This is done as an injection.

2. Extraction: The root portion of a tooth is firmly encased in bone (its socket), and tightly held in place by a ligament. During the extraction process, the dentist needs to both "expand the socket" (widen and enlarge it) and separate the tooth from its ligament, to the point where the tooth is loose and free to come out.
  • What does it mean to "expand" a tooth's socket? If you have ever tried to remove a tent stake that has been driven deeply into the ground, you know that you can't just pull the stake straight up. Instead, you first have to rock the stake back and forth, widening the hole in which it is lodged. Once the hole has been enlarged enough, the stake will come out easily.
  • How does the dentist expand the jaw bone? The bone inside the jaw is spongy. When a dentist applies firm pressure to a tooth (forcing it against the side of its socket), the bone will compress. After repeated application of pressure, from many different angles, the entire socket gradually becomes expanded. At some point, enough space will have been created (and the ligament separated from the tooth enough) that the tooth will come out.
3. Closing the extraction site: Once your tooth has been removed, your dentist will begin the process of closing your extraction site. This may include:
  • Removing infected or pathologic tissue by curetting (scraping) the walls of the tooth socket
  • Using finger pressure to re-compress the "expanded" socket
  • Rounding off sharp bone edges
  • Evaluating the tooth socket for sinus complications (upper back teeth)
  • Washing out ("irrigating") the socket, so to remove any loose bone or tooth fragments that remain
  • Placing stitches (usually only after surgical extractions).
  • Placing folded gauze over your extraction site and then having you bite down on it so to create firm pressure
The Tools
1. Dental Elevators: During the extraction process, a dentist will usually use an elevator first. These instruments are designed to be wedged in the ligament space between the tooth and its surrounding bone. As the elevator is forced and twisted, the tooth is pressed and rocked against the bone. This helps to expand the socket. It also helps to separate the tooth from its ligament. As this work is continued, the tooth will become more and more mobile. In some cases, the elevator may be able to shove the tooth on out. If not, the dentist will switch to the use of extraction forceps and remove the tooth with them.

2. Extraction Forceps: A dentist will usually keep a number of different extraction forceps on hand. Each one will have a design that's been specially made to grasp a certain type of tooth. When they're used, the dentist will grasp the tooth with the forceps and them firmly and deliberately rock it back and forth as much as it will. Because the bone that surrounds the tooth is compressible, the socket will expand. In addition to a rocking motion, a dentist will also rotate the tooth back and forth. This twisting action helps to rip and tear the tooth from the ligament that binds it in place. At some point, the socket will be enlarged enough, and the ligament torn enough, that the tooth can be easily removed.

What will I feel?
1. Pressure
2. You should not feel any pain 
3. Expect to hear startling extraction noises: These are often just routine

Following the Extraction
We will tell you the reason for the extraction and let you know what to expect following the procedure. Please follow the instructions given to you. If antibiotics are prescribed, take them until the prescription is completely finished. If pain medication is prescribed, take it only if necessary. If the medication prescribed contains a narcotic component, such as codeine, do not drive a motor vehicle or operate machinery that could prove dangerous to yourself or others. Expect some bleeding to occur from the extraction site for the first 24 hours. Remember, there is now a hole in your jaw from which the tooth has been removed, and the hole can be quite large. Some bleeding is to be expected.
  • Do not spit, rinse, or smoke for 24 hours
  • Do not drink through a straw for 24 hours
  • It would be a good idea not to brush near the extraction site for a day or two
  • When you brush and floss the area, be gentle!
  • For 24 hours after the extraction, try to chew food away from the extraction site
  • Some slight swelling in the area is to be expected, especially if the extraction was difficult
  • If sutures are placed, return to have them removed
  • If medication has been prescribed for possible post extraction discomfort, take it as directed
  • If prescription medication has NOT been given, you may take your usual over-the-counter pain reliever, as directed
 Please notify us if:
  • There is extended bleeding from the extraction site. Slight bleeding for several hours is normal.
  • Anything other than slight swelling occurs.
  • Discomfort continues for more than 24 hours, especially if it is not relieved by over-the-counter pain relievers.
Some infrequent complications of routine oral surgical procedures include (but are not limited to):
  • fracture of adjacent teeth or restorations (which of course would mean that these affected areas must be restored to normal function after the healing of the extraction site)
  • separated root tips or root fragments
  • temporary or permanent nerve damage to the area, resulting in anesthesia or paresthesia (numbness)
  • incomplete healing, resulting in severe pain - a "dry socket"
  • fracture of the surrounding bone
If you have any questions about reasons for dental extraction, please feel free to ask us.


  1. Precautions has to be taken before and after the tooth extraction process. Even instruments are designed to be wedged in the ligament space between the tooth and its surrounding bone. So it will be easy for the dentist to remove the effected teeth. Thanks for sharing such informative and detailed information on dental extraction process and equipments which are used in such process.

    1. Thanks so much for reading! We are happy that you found it useful!

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