Tooth Extractions

Understanding Tooth Extractions

Tooth extractions are a commonly performed dental procedure. It is a procedure in which your dentist will remove a damaged or decayed tooth or a tooth that is blocking other teeth from coming in.

When your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction as a form of treatment, it might be when:

  • You have a tooth that is severely decayed or damaged and cannot be restored
  • Your jaw is overcrowded with teeth and some must be removed in order to make space for proper alignment
  • You have an impacted tooth, such as when a wisdom tooth is blocked and can’t erupt properly
  • You have an infection that cannot be adequately treated with root canal therapy
  • You are undergoing radiation treatment in the head and neck area

Your dentist will determine if a tooth extraction is necessary, and will explain the procedure to you in detail. If you need to have a tooth extracted, the procedure will usually involve the following steps:

  • The dentist will inject an anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth or teeth, so that you won't feel any discomfort.
  • Your dentist will then use special tools, such as forceps, to loosen the tooth and gently extract it.
  • If the tooth is not loose enough to be extracted, your dentist might need to cut the surrounding gum and bone tissue away so as to access the tooth.
  • After the tooth is extracted, the dentist will check the area to make sure that all the bone and gum tissue surrounding the tooth is intact.
  • Finally, the dentist will apply gauze to the empty tooth socket to help stop the bleeding and promote clotting.

Your dentist may also recommend that you have a tooth X-ray taken to make sure there is no damage to your jawbone, teeth, or other structures in the area. This will help ensure that the extraction has been done properly and that the area has been completely cleared of all teeth and debris.

It’s important to understand the process and the potential risks involved in a tooth extraction. It is also important to have a full understanding of the after-care instructions that your dentist will give you to aid in the healing process.