Though modern dentistry is capable of minimally invasive management for serious oral disease conditions, it is still possible for tooth decay or traumatic injury to damage a tooth beyond repair. As a result, tooth extractions are common procedures at every dental clinic. Sam Shin, a dentist in North Vancouver, provides insight into a typical tooth extraction procedure and the recovery process. Meanwhile, you can book a tooth extraction surgery with Smile Well Dental. You would be getting proper care from our expert Sam Shin.
Overview of Tooth Extractions
Tooth extraction involves the removal of the tooth from the jaw as is necessary to resolve an acute dental problem or to protect a patient’s health . Consequently, an extraction (or several extractions) may be a necessary part of periodontic, endodontic, or (more rarely) orthodontic treatment plans.
Though the procedure and recovery for tooth extractions are largely the same across specialties, every oral surgeon, endodontist, orthodontist, or dentist in Vancouver has their own recommendations and protocols. That said, the process for tooth extraction when working with a professional dental clinic in Vancouver will involve:
- An initial consultation with a dentist in Vancouver to assess the condition of the tooth (teeth) in question; includes taking x-rays and potentially prescribing antibiotics to pre-treat oral infections .
- A discussion of treatment options and their costs, wait times, and accessibility.
- Depending on the urgency and complexity of the extraction, you may be referred to an oral surgeon for further consultation.
- A pre-surgery consultation to review your health history, current medications, and insurance coverage.
Preparation For Tooth Extraction Surgery
While your dentist would be making necessary arrangements to make the procedure painless and infection-free before and after, here’s what you should do on your end.
Don’t eat before the surgery.
It would be in your best interest not to eat anything 12 hours before the surgery. Since anesthesia can make you nauseous, nothing in your stomach can help with that.
However, if you choose local anesthesia, the time gap for eating should not be this big. You should converse with your doctor about how long you should fast.
If you have any disease that doesn’t allow you to go without eating for long periods, such as diabetes, you should let your dentist know. Again, though, a clinic like Smile Well Dental would go through your medical history beforehand and advise you anyway.
It is best not to go near tobacco for at least 12 hours before the procedure. After the process, it is recommended you refrain for another 24 hours. It would be a good idea to abstain from smoking for some days. Smoking will make the healing process slower.
What To Expect During The Tooth Extraction Procedure
“Simple” tooth extractions occur on an outpatient basis at every dental clinic in Vancouver. In contrast, some “surgical” tooth extractions may require hospital facilities. In either case, every oral surgeon and dentist in Vancouver prioritizes patient safety and comfort.
For simple tooth extractions (where the tooth is visible and accessible):
- The extraction process begins by numbing the tooth and the bone/gum tissue surrounding it with an anesthetic.
- The dentist uses a probe to check the numbness of the tooth and surrounding tissues, then moves the gum away from the tooth.
- The dentist will then enlarge the socket around the tooth (loosening the tooth). This involves rocking the tooth back and forth using specialized extraction forceps or elevators .
- The dentist will then sever the ligament that holds the tooth in place and pop it out of the socket .
- Once the tooth is out of the socket, the dentist will clean the socket and stitch the gum tissues.
For surgical tooth extractions (where the tooth is impacted or broken below the gumline):
- The extraction process begins with the administration of local anesthetic or general anesthesia.
- The surgeon makes a small incision below the gumline to access the tooth for extraction.
- The extraction will proceed similarly to a simple extraction, though the surgeon may use a drill or laser to gain deeper access to the tooth or the tooth may be removed in pieces .
- Following the procedure, the surgeon may prescribe medication for pain management.
What to do if you get a dry socket?
The before and after rules before tooth extraction surgery should be maintained because it would make healing faster and prevent you from getting a dry socket. If you don’t follow the simple advice from your dentist, even the best surgery wouldn’t be able to stop a dry socket situation from occurring.
The dental condition can occur in adults who recently had to go through a tooth extraction surgery. At the point where your tooth has been extracted, a blood clot forms naturally. As the tooth socket is now empty, this clot acts as a sort of layer of protection, wedging itself over the bone underneath and the nerve endings related to it.
For new bone to grow, this clot acts as the foundation. The soft tissue of the mouth eventually covers the clot.
A dry socket occurs when this blood clot doesn’t get the chance to develop correctly, separated, or dissolved before its time. As a result, your wound does not get enough time to heal this way.
As the blood clot is out of the way, the bone and nerves beneath are exposed. It results in immense pain, and if you eat food that lodges itself there, the pain intensifies. The area might also become inflamed.
While a low, thrumming pain is to be expected after surgery, the medication prescribed by your doctor usually takes care of it. This pain disappears with time. However, if you feel a sudden twinge or the pain worsens and overpowers the medication, that’s cause for concern. You will need to call your dentist immediately.
What are the signs of a dry socket?
If you get a dry socket, you would most definitely know. Let’s look at the symptoms anyway.
- Experiencing acute pain days within the tooth extraction surgery
- If you can suddenly see the bone on the tooth extraction site of your socket
- Pain that begins from the socket but seems to travel to your cheeks, neck, temple, and eye
- Bad breathe
- Weird taste inside your mouth
If you feel any unbearable pain within 14 days of the surgery, talk to your dentist immediately. After two weeks, the sutures should fall or disappear, so the chances of dry socket extinguish. If you need to get your tooth extracted, contact us at the earliest.