What is tooth extraction

Dental extraction, commonly referred to as tooth extraction, is the removal of teeth from the tooth socket. It is the treatment of choice when the tooth is already beyond repair and is infected or when the tooth is extremely mobile due to periodontal disease.

Tooth extraction is also known as an uncomplicated extraction.

This is performed on teeth that are clinically visible in the oral cavity. The procedure starts with the administration of local anesthesia.

Upon numbing of the tooth and surrounding structures, the gums are detached from the tooth using a hand instrument called a gum separator. This is to facilitate the access of the next set of hand instruments called elevators.

It is a common misconception that when dentists extract the tooth, they pull it out forcefully; however, this is not the case. Dentists use elevators to raise and wiggle the tooth out of the socket using small, controlled movements. When the tooth is already mobile in the socket, the tooth is picked up using the forceps.

Immediately after the tooth extraction, the socket is scraped with a small spoon-shaped instrument to make sure that no debris or diseased tissues remain inside. The tooth socket is also flushed with sterile saline solution to guarantee its cleanliness. Slight pressure is then applied to the socket to stop the bleeding usually by biting on a small piece of gauze for 30 minutes.

To ensure proper healing after the extraction, it is also advisable to rest for at least 24 hours, therefore avoiding any strenuous activities. Sucking, such as using a straw or puffing a cigarette, should be avoided because the negative pressure can stimulate bleeding. There is a long list of dos and don’ts after tooth extraction and it is best to follow your dentist’s instructions to avoid further complications.