There are two different types of dental tooth extractions–simple tooth extractions and surgical tooth extractions. A tooth extraction procedure that can be accomplished from above the gums and that does not require breaking the tooth into pieces or the use of surgical techniques is called a simple tooth extraction.
Understanding the Simple Tooth Extraction Process
When it comes to resolving tooth damage that has been caused by injury or decay, your dentist will always make an effort to preserve your natural tooth. However, there are some situations where extracting a tooth is actually the wisest option, such as when the tooth has been damaged beyond the point of repair, the patient is not a good candidate for a root canal or there are overcrowding issues that cannot be easily handled with orthodontic treatments. There may also be times when tooth extraction is chosen by the patient because it is less costly than restoration options and has a higher chance of resulting in a good outcome.
Your dentist will determine whether you are a candidate for a simple tooth extraction. He will confirm that the tooth to be extracted has straight roots and has enough solid structure above the gums to be grasped and manipulated. He will also review your health history and ask you to refrain from using blood thinning medications temporarily on the days surrounding the extraction procedure. Once he has determined that simple tooth extraction is appropriate, your dentist will:
- Administer anesthetic. In order to ensure that the procedure is as smooth and comfortable as possible, your dentist will inject local anesthetic into the immediate area around the tooth. He may choose to apply a topical anesthetic gel prior to the injection in order to further minimize any discomfort caused by the injection itself.
- Release periodontal ligament fibers. Regardless of the condition of the tooth intended for extraction, the periodontal ligament fibers that suspend the tooth from the bony socket must be released in order for it to be successfully extracted from the mouth.
- Loosen and elevate the tooth. A special dental tool called an elevator is used to make the loose tooth even looser. This works because the bony housing around the tooth is pliable, and the elevator essentially enlarges the socket just enough to allow the tooth to be removed.
- Deliver the tooth from the mouth. Using forceps, the dentist will grasp the loosened tooth and remove it from the mouth.
- Perform ridge preservation where necessary. In many cases, your dentist will recommend that you replace the extracted tooth as soon as possible. Where this has been decided upon, your dentist may immediately follow a simple tooth extraction procedure with a ridge preservation via socket graft procedure. This consists of placing bone graft material in the newly emptied tooth socket in order to slow the bone reabsorption process. This can help to ensure that the bony ridge remains at the same height and width and will therefore be better able to support the replacement tooth. When this procedure does not occur immediately after simple tooth extraction, the bony ridge immediately begins to deteriorate, which can affect the success of future tooth replacement.
- Minimize bleeding. While there are no major arteries in tooth sockets, simple tooth extraction can still result in bleeding. Your dentist will apply pressure to the tooth socket in order to minimize this bleeding.
- Give you post-operative instructions. Depending upon your specific dental and medical situation, your dentist will give you post-operative instructions to help you recover smoothly and comfortably from simple tooth extraction. This is the best time to discuss with your dentist any questions or concerns you may have.
Benefits of Simple Tooth Extraction
Where simple tooth extraction is deemed appropriate, there can be many benefits from having the procedure performed. If the tooth is infected, its removal obviously eliminates the source of the infection, and it also eliminates any pain and swelling that resulted from the infection. If the tooth is being removed due to overcrowding, its removal will allow remaining teeth to straighten and align properly, either on their own or with the help of orthodontic procedures and devices.
For more information about simple tooth extraction, contact Dr. Nurminsky today.