A tooth extraction, also known as exodontia, is one of the most common procedures performed at a dentist's office. The procedure involves removing or pulling a tooth. An extraction may be necessary if there is disease, trauma or overcrowding.
Causes for Tooth Extraction
Tooth extractions may be performed for the following reasons and/or to remove the following conditions:
- Wisdom teeth
- Decayed teeth
- Broken teeth
- Loose teeth
- In preparation for braces
Tooth Extraction Procedure
After the dentist has decided that a tooth extraction is necessary, an X-ray will be used to further evaluate the tooth. There are two types of dental extractions:
This is an extraction of a tooth that can be seen in the mouth. In a simple extraction, forceps are used to remove the tooth.
A surgical extraction is performed on teeth that have broken at the gum line or have not descended into the mouth, such as wisdom teeth. It is a more complex extraction procedure.
After the extraction, stitches may be necessary; alternatively, a bridge, implant or a denture will be used to replace one or more teeth.
Recovery from a Tooth Extraction
After the extraction, patients may experience a certain amount of pain. The pain may be relieved by:
- Applying ice to the external area if swelling occurs
- Rinsing with warm salt water
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication
Antibiotics may be prescribed to fight infection. Patients are also advised to avoid certain foods and hot liquids for 24 hours after the procedure. A follow-up appointment may be necessary to remove stitches.
Most patients recover completely from a tooth extraction within one to two weeks.