People have been getting their teeth removed for centuries. While the reasons today for tooth extractions are much more scientific, removing a tooth is a procedure not to be taken lightly. From types of extractions, why you may need one, and what to expect from the procedure, we’re here with everything you need to know to ensure you receive the proper care you need and deserve.
Tooth Extraction Basics
Simply defined, tooth extraction is the “removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone.” Today’s dentists may recommend extraction for a variety of reasons and the procedure can be performed in a variety of ways.
Types of Extractions
There are two main types of extractions your dental team will perform, characterized mostly by the severity of the case. The two main types can be referred to as the following:
- Simple extractions: If the tooth that needs to be extracted can be easily seen in the mouth, this is known as a simple extraction. These are typically done in a normal office setting and are done on cases without complications.
- Surgical extractions: If the tooth that needs to be extracted has broken at the gum line, has not come into the mouth yet, or is severely impacted, your dental team may need to perform a surgical extraction. This is a more complex procedure and involves removing tissue to reach the tooth.
Why Teeth Extractions Are Performed
Your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction for the following reasons:
- There is too much damage to a decayed or broken tooth
- A tooth is too loose
- The presence of extra teeth or baby teeth that have not fallen out yet
- There is bone loss around a tooth
- To make room for braces or other orthodontia
- The wisdom teeth are infected, impacted, or causing issues
- Results from certain drugs, medications, and conditions
What to Expect From a Tooth Extraction
Teeth extraction procedures have come a long way since ancient times. Considered a simple and quick procedure, your dental team will have you in and out in no time at all. Before opting for extraction, your dentist will take x-rays, perform exams, and may run other tests as well.
When you arrive for your extraction procedure, your dental team will administer a local anesthetic to the affected area. In some more serious cases, stronger anesthetics may be necessary. Once numb, your dentist will get to work. If your tooth is impacted, the dentist will need to cut some tissue away in order to reach the tooth. Your dentist will then use specialized tools to gently rock your tooth back and forth to loosen it from its roots. While the goal is to retrieve the tooth in one pull, there are times your dentist may need to remove the tooth in several pieces.
Once your tooth has been extracted, your dentist will use gauze to stop the bleeding. It is also possible that your dentist may recommend stitches for certain extractions.
Recovery and Risks
While the risks associated with most dental procedures are slim, it’s important to practice good self-care in recovery. The most common risks and side effects associated with tooth extractions include severe pain, infection, and dry socket. Your dental team will send you home with specific instructions to care for yourself during recovery. As the procedure is simple, you can typically return to your normal activities within a day or two.
You may be prescribed painkillers while your mouth heals to decrease pain and swelling. Depending on your situation, you may also be prescribed antibiotics to decrease the risk of developing an infection. While the site is still bleeding, it is important to change your gauze regularly. This helps the extraction site to clot, heal, and avoid dry socket. Certain behaviors like smoking, sipping, and spitting should be avoided for a few days. You should also try to stick to a diet of softer foods that are easy to eat and less likely to irritate the site.
The financial cost of a tooth extraction can vary greatly. The price is usually dependent on each person’s individual case, the number of teeth extracted, type of extraction performed, and more. A simple extraction can cost anywhere between $100-$200 per tooth, while surgical extractions may cost anywhere between $800-$4,000 per tooth. This also does not include anesthesia and other costs associated with the procedure.
Here at Terrace Smiles Dentistry, we focus on providing you with everything you need to maintain the smile of your dreams. As experts in preventative support and treating current dental problems with ease, we are here to keep you smiling brilliantly for years. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment!