Tooth extraction is the process of removing a tooth from its socket using simple dental tools like elevators and forceps. The process is carried out in a dentist’s office under the effect of local anesthesia. Tooth extraction is the last resort for your dentist. If your teeth cannot be saved using dental restorations, tooth extraction is performed.
Why are teeth extracted?
You may require tooth extraction for any of the following reasons:
- If the tooth has succumbed to irreplaceable damage, it cannot be saved using filling or crowns. Such teeth require immediate extraction.
- People with extra teeth in their mouth suffer from overcrowding. Overcrowding alters a person’s bite and blocks other teeth from erupting through the gums. As a remedy, few teeth are extracted to create space on the dental arch.
- The placement of orthodontic devices like braces or aligners sometimes requires extraction in order to create room for the device.
- People undergoing chemotherapy are exposed to strong chemicals which often weaken the immune system. As a result, the teeth become easily infected and require extraction.
- Advanced gum diseases cause gum recession. The gums start pulling away from the teeth and expose the tooth roots. As a result, the teeth become loose. Such teeth have to be extracted.
- Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to erupt in the mouth. They erupt at a time when there is not enough space on the dental arch. As a result, they remain impacted and cause infections and orthodontic problems. Majority of the adults have to get their wisdom teeth removed.
How are teeth extracted?
A simple or non-surgical extraction
A simple extraction can be performed in the following steps:
Numbing your tooth
The tooth to be extracted and its surrounding area are numbed using a local anesthetic. The local anesthetic prevents you from feeling any discomfort or pain during the procedure.
Tooth roots firmly hold on to the underlying bone tissues and are tightly attached to the ligaments. Your dentist will expand the socket by moving the tooth to-and-fro and detach it from the ligaments and tissues that hold it in place. When the tooth is loose enough to be extracted, your dentist will pull it out using forceps.
A Surgical Extraction
You will need a surgical extraction in any of the following scenarios.
- Teeth have broken severely at the gumline.
- Tip of the root requires removal.
- Teeth with extremely long roots.
- Impacted teeth that stay entrapped in the gums.
- Dense bone tissue and ligaments surrounding the teeth.