What is tooth extraction?
Tooth extraction is the forced removal of a tooth, using forceps, from the dental alveolus or the socket in the alveolar bone (alveolar bone is the bone with sockets surrounding the roots of the teeth), due to various reasons such as:
- tooth decay
- tooth damage
- extremely loose tooth
- overcrowding of teeth in the mouth
- tooth not able to erupt through the gum
- baby teeth not falling out in time, to make way for the growth of permanent teeth
- a patient requiring radiation to the head or neck, due to certain medical conditions, and may need to have the teeth lying in the areas of radiation extracted
- impacted wisdom teeth which cause gum pain and swelling
It is advisable to consult with your dentist if you face any of the above problems.
How is tooth extraction done?
Prior to extracting your tooth, the dentist will take the details of your full medical history, especially your dental treatment history, if any, along with a list of the medications that you take.
You need to especially mention if you take any blood thinners or are allergic to any medicines.
The doctor may prescribe some antibiotics that you may have to take prior to the extraction.
An x-ray will be taken to determine the best way to extract the affected tooth.
The doctor will ask you to refrain from smoking, at least, a day before the procedure, as smoking might lead you to suffer from a dry socket and alveolar bone exposure after the extraction.
On the appointed day the dentist will give you local anesthesia to numb the affected tooth and its surrounding areas.
General anesthesia, though rarely necessary, may be required in certain cases of wisdom teeth removal. For such a procedure you will need to be admitted to a hospital, though you will be able to go home on the same day.
There are two types of tooth extraction procedures, depending on the condition of the tooth:
- Simple extraction - In this procedure, after the tooth and the surrounding areas become numb, the dentist loosens the tooth with an instrument called the elevator. The elevator helps to break down the tissues supporting the tooth and expand the bony socket which holds the tooth. The dentist then easily pulls out the tooth using a pair of forceps.
You may feel some amount of pressure when the dentist pulls out the tooth, but no pain.
- The dentist will place a gauze over the socket and ask you to bite down on it to stop the bleeding.
- Surgical extraction - Surgical extractions may be necessary for:
- a tooth which has not erupted through the gum
- a tooth which is too large to be extracted in one piece
- an impacted tooth
- a tooth which has broken off at the gumline
During the procedure, the dental surgeon makes a small incision on the gum to access
the affected tooth. If the tooth is too large the surgeon may break the tooth to small
pieces to remove it. For a tooth which is impacted, the dental surgeon will cut away
some gum and bone tissue, then use forceps to rock the tooth, loosen it from the
jaw bone, and finally pull it out.
In certain cases, post the surgery, the dentist may bring the gum edges together and stitch them. The
stitches dissolve automatically in a few days. A blood clot usually forms in the socket after
the surgery. The dentist will put a gauze over the clot and ask you to bite on it till the
Are there any side effects of tooth extraction?
Some side effects of tooth extraction include:
- a small amount of bleeding till 24 hours after the surgery
- dry tooth socket or alveolar bone exposure
- damage to nearby teeth
- an incomplete extraction of the tooth
- stiffness and soreness in the jaw due to the injections and keeping the mouth open for too long
Other potential complications include:
- damage to the sinus near the upper wisdom teeth
- a fractured jaw (common among elderly people) due to the pressure exerted while extracting the tooth
- injury to the inferior alveolar nerve in the lower jaw causing temporary numbness for a period of around six months or sometimes permanent numbness
Who are not eligible for tooth extraction?
You are not eligible for tooth extraction if you are:
- suffering from hypertension
- suffering from cold and cough
- take blood thinners ( the endodontist may ask you to stop taking the blood thinners for a couple of days prior to the procedure )
- suffering from diabetes
- suffering from autoimmune diseases
- suffering from infections and fever
- suffering from osteoporosis
- suffering from allergies
Are there any post-treatment guidelines?
Some dos and don’ts after a tooth extraction include:
- take the painkiller and/ or antibiotics prescribed
- bite down on the gauze for around 30 minutes
- do not spit, rinse, or brush your teeth for around 12 hours after the procedure
- brush your teeth after 24 hours of the procedure, but be sure to avoid the extraction site
- do not eat, drink or talk for the first two hours after the extraction
- avoid any rigorous physical activity for the next two days
- rinse your mouth with salt water 24 hours after the procedure
- do not use a straw to drink during the first 24 hours after the extraction
- drink plenty of cold liquids after the bleeding subsides
- take soft foods such as soups, pudding, till the next day after the procedure. Gradually move to solid foods as the bleeding subsides and the area begins to heal
How long will it take to recover after a tooth extraction?
Depending on the size of the area it will take one to two weeks for the area to completely heal.
What is the price of tooth extraction in India?
Cost of tooth extraction can vary depending upon the city/locality, clinic/hospital type & amenities, experience of the provider, number & type of teeth for extraction, medications used etc. Typically, the cost of tooth extraction in India may range from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 8,000
Please consult your doctor to get the exact treatment plan and price quote suiting your unique needs.
Are the results permanent?
If a baby tooth is extracted, a permanent tooth will grow in its stead. If a permanent tooth is extracted, it will never grow back. If you wish, you may replace the missing tooth with an implanted one. Your dentist will be able to let you know about your options.
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