Dental Extraction: What You Need to Know
At first glance, the idea of getting a tooth removed or a dental extraction can be an uncomfortable prospect. Your teeth are, after all, a piece of you and an integral part of your body. You brush them, floss them, straighten them, and care for them as you would for any other part of yourself. Yet, sometimes, dental extraction or tooth replacement may be the only options when a tooth has suffered irreversible damage.
The vast majority of adults will have one, two, or more of their teeth extracted at some point in their lives, in all likelihood, you too will require a dental extraction procedure. Whether as a result of dental neglect and decay, trauma, an impacted wisdom tooth, or another cause, tooth removal should not evoke fear.
Learning what to expect, how the dental extraction procedure will work, and how to prepare are necessary first steps to any dental procedure. In fact, with the right dentist or oral surgeon, most patients should experience minimal pain, quick recovery times, and beautiful aesthetic results.
"With the right dentist or oral surgeon, most patients should experience minimal pain, quick recovery times, and beautiful aesthetic results."
--- NAVID SENEHI, DDS. MD.
What Is A Dental Extraction?
A dental extraction, or exodontia, is simply the removal of a person’s teeth. Extractions can be simple affairs that only involve local anesthesia and the removal of visible teeth, or may require a surgical approach if a tooth is beneath the gums or covered with bone. The number of teeth removed can range from just a single tooth to as many as all of the teeth in cases involving full mouth reconstructive surgery. Methods of extraction will vary depending on the teeth in question. An impacted wisdom tooth embedded in the jaw bone, for example, will require a different approach than the removal of thoroughly decayed teeth.
When Might I Need a Dental Extraction?
A dental extraction procedure may be necessary for a broad range of reasons. By far the most common impetus to have a tooth removed is severe dental decay or teeth that are broken or fractured.
Other reasons for a tooth extraction may be a result of disease, such as severe gum disease, or motivated by aesthetic and cosmetic concerns such as the removal of teeth in preparation for orthodontics, dentures, or dental implants.
Reasons To Remove A Tooth
Who Performs a Dental Extraction?
Simple dental extractions can be carried out by a general dentist. More complicated dental extraction cases that require extra care and skills may need the expertise of a specialist like Dr. Navid Senehi, DDS. MD. of Facial & Oral Surgery Institute.
Dr. Senehi is a dual degree oral and maxillofacial surgeon as well as extensively trained in administering anesthesia. He has extensive experience in wisdom tooth removal, dental extraction, dental implant placement, and a variety of facial and oral surgical procedures.
What is the Extraction Process?
The first step to every tooth extraction process is a dental exam, often involving x-rays and a thorough patient evaluation. The patient assessment is designed to identify the source of any dental or oral health concerns as well as help in determining the best solution. If it is determined that a tooth extraction is the best course of action, an appointment is scheduled with Dr. Senehi for the procedure.
Once the tooth extraction procedure is ready to commence, the patient is prepped for the surgical procedure. A prerequisite dental cleaning may be necessary to help control bacteria and reduce the risk of infection during and after the operation. Preparatory procedures before extraction also include the administration of local anesthetics for simple dental extractions and general anesthesia for complicated surgical extractions or the extraction of multiple teeth.
During a simple dental extraction, Dr. Senehi will mobilize the indicated tooth in a very soft manner where even most patients don't feel the slight pressure that is routinely associated with the procedure. Via use of different instruments teeth are removed with essentially no discomfort.
During a surgical extraction, Dr. Senehi will typically make an incision into the gums to expose embedded and unerupted teeth. The tooth can then be removed using a variety of methods including cutting teeth into smaller pieces to make them easier to remove.
Following the extraction, stitches are used to close the incisions. A gauze pad is placed over the extraction site, and patients are then asked to apply pressure to the site until there's no more bleeding. This allows blood clots to form within the sockets. In cases where preserving a socket is necessary, different materials and techniques are utilized to optimize the process to its full extent and accelerate the healing phase. Antibiotics may also be applied or administered to help prevent infections. Finally, the surgical site is allowed to heal.
The Dental Extraction Process
- Dental exam and patient evaluation
- Local or general anesthesia administered
- A surgical incision is made (if necessary)
- The tooth is exposed and extracted
- Sites are sterilized in cases of infected dentition
- Socket preservation materials applied
- Stitches are used to close the sites if necessary
- Further treatments if necessary
What Should I Expect After Tooth Extraction Surgery?
The period of time immediately following a dental extraction surgery is essential to the success of a tooth extraction procedure. Patients are often advised to avoid dislodging the blood clot in the empty socket of an extracted tooth by avoiding strenuous activities, not touching the site, not drinking through a straw, avoid carbonated beverages, no spitting, etc.
Smoking and drinking alcohol should also be avoided along with vigorously rinsing out your mouth or drinking hot beverages such as coffee or tea. After a 24-hour initial recovery period, patients are advised to regularly bathe or clean the extraction site with warm salt water or antibiotic rinse.
How Long is the Recovery Period for a Dental Extraction?
The initial healing period for a simple tooth extraction can be as little as a week or two. More intensive surgical extractions involving the removal of embedded teeth below the gums or jaw bone may require more time for recovery.
During the recovery period, new bone and soft tissues will grow into the socket. It is important to note that leaving an extraction site open or empty without a replacement tooth can result in the shifting of remaining teeth, malocclusion, misalignment, and jaw bone resorption and atrophy. Replacing missing teeth is a major component of maintaining not only healthy dental and oral health but also for retaining good aesthetics and a beautiful smile.
What Are Some Replacement Options For Extracted Teeth?
Replacement of missing teeth is a critical next step in an extraction procedure. Some tooth replacement therapies, such as dental implants, can be applied immediately following an extraction. Others such as bridges can be employed well after the successful conclusion of the healing process.
Replacement options include conventional dental implants, All-On-Four dental implants, implant-supported dentures, partial or complete dentures, and bridges. Replacing missing teeth, particularly with implant-based solutions, is highly recommended to combat bone resorption, teeth shifting, and other dental and oral health issues associated with edentulism.
Where Do I Go To For a Dental Extraction?
Your first and foremost resource for all of your questions and concerns regarding dental extraction procedures, dental health, and oral health in general, is Facial & Oral Surgery Institute.
A significant advantage in choosing Facial & Oral Surgery Institute in Woodland Hills, CA over other dental clinics is the expert and professional staff featuring some of the most qualified, recognized, and skilled doctors in the dental and medical field. Dr. Navid Senehi, DDS. MD., for example, is dual degree oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Our staff is what makes FOSI a premier cosmetic dental, oral, and facial surgery destination.
You can call us at 818-805-0557 or during business hours click the Chat button located in the right-hand bottom corner of this page to chat with a live person on our team. If you prefer just click the Schedule An Appointment button below to get started.