What is Tooth Extraction? A Beginner’s Guide to Extraction Recovery

What is Tooth Extraction? A Beginner’s Guide to Extraction Recovery

Sep 20, 2021

When you are experiencing pain, you should head to the dentist for assessment as soon as possible. The dentist may recommend a root canal if the infection has not caused damage. However, if the tooth cannot be saved, tooth extraction is a suitable option.

What is a Tooth Extraction Procedure?

Tooth extraction is a surgical procedure that removes the tooth from the mouth. It is usually performed when all other methods of treatment have failed or when there is a risk of irreversible damage to the teeth or oral tissues.

Tooth Extraction vs. Root Canal—What is The Difference?

The difference between extraction and a root canal is that the latter is a procedure where the dentist goes in through a small hole near the tooth and removes any diseased tissue inside.

In most cases, it’s done with local anesthesia and can be completed in under an hour. An extraction is the pulling of the tooth from the socket, and it takes about 45 minutes to complete.

When is a Tooth Extraction Procedure Necessary?

Dentists generally recommend extraction when the patient’s remaining teeth are too damaged and cannot be restored through restorative treatment.

If you have impacted wisdom teeth, our dentist in San Diego, CA, can remove them to preserve the jaw and the rest of the teeth. Teeth overcrowding is also another reason for getting a tooth extraction. The dentist pulls the teeth in preparation for the teeth alignment treatment.

How to Prepare for Your Tooth Extraction Procedure

The process of extracting a tooth is no easy feat, but with the right preparation, even the worst-case scenario can be manageable.

  • Make sure you have a good night’s sleep the night before.
  • Inform the dentist of any pre-existing medical conditions or medications you may be taking
  • Eat light and healthy food to reduce your risk of nausea during and after the procedure
  • Drink plenty of water before procedures.

What to Expect During Tooth Extraction Procedures

The dentist can either perform a simple or surgical extraction depending on the visibility of the tooth. The simple extraction is done on the teeth that lie above the gums, and it takes about 15-20 minutes.

A surgical extraction is done on the teeth found beneath the gums (impacted teeth), and it can take longer than the simple one.

However, regardless of the type of extraction, the procedure follows these steps:

  • The first stage involves numbing the area with anesthesia.
  • It is then followed by separating the gum from the teeth using an elevator and forceps to grab hold of the tooth. If a surgical extraction is done, the gums are opened to access the impacted teeth.
  • The dentist then cleans up any bleeding and making sure that everything within is removed and the gums are stitched.

What Can You Expect after the Tooth Extraction Process?

Patients usually experience intense pain and swelling during the first phase of recovery. In the first 24 hours, a blood clot will form to facilitate healing.

Some patients may also experience nausea and vomiting or even diarrhea as they recover from their extraction trauma.

Tips for Tooth Extraction Recovery

The first thing to do is use warm water to remove the remaining blood and dirt from your mouth. Then, get a cold drink or take an ice cube in your mouth. This will help decrease the swelling in your mouth.

You should avoid dairy products, meat, spicy foods, and acidic foods until the tooth pain is completely gone. If you have an open wound on your gum area from where the tooth was extracted, it’s best to take care of it right away with a cold compress or ice pack to reduce the risk of infection.

Avoid drinking beverages using a straw because it can break the blood clot and lead to a dry socket.

In addition to avoiding certain food types, you should also avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours following your extraction because it can take longer than usual for you to get over the effects of anesthesia used during the procedure.

What Other Problems are Associated with Tooth Extractions?

Here are some of the complications that may occur during tooth extractions:

  • Injuries to the opposing jaw
  • Blood clots in the airway or the nose
  • Cranial nerve damage or loss of feeling in the face

Schedule an Appointment

Visit the Center for Oral Health for more information about tooth extraction procedures and what you can expect.