Posts for tag: tooth extraction
There are instances when a general dentist will remove (extract) a problem tooth. At other times, though, the same dentist may refer a patient needing an extraction to an oral surgeon. Why the difference?
The procedure performed by a general dentist is referred to as a “simple tooth extraction.” “Simple” doesn’t mean easy and requiring no skill or expertise — it certainly does. In this case, the term refers to the anatomy of the tooth being extracted, particularly its roots.
Teeth that respond well in a simple extraction have an uncomplicated root system. The path of removal, usually with a single root involved, is fairly straight and without extreme angles. In the hands of a skilled and experienced dentist, it can be removed with little to no discomfort.
Dentists actually must use finesse to remove a tooth from its socket. The tooth is held in place with tiny collagen fibers that extend from a tough, elastic gum tissue known as the periodontal ligament, which lies between the teeth and the bone. With some manipulation, a dentist can loosen these fibers, which then makes removing the tooth much easier. All of this can usually be performed with local anesthesia.
Of course, to determine if a tooth can be removed this way, we must conduct a thorough dental examination first, including x-ray imaging to determine the exact nature and location of the roots. If the exam reveals the root system is more complex, or that there are defects to the bone or the tooth that could make a simple extraction difficult (resulting, for example, in not removing the crown and root in one piece), then the tooth may need to be removed surgically.
Such situations require the skill and resources of an oral surgeon. These specialists perform a number of surgical procedures related to the mouth and face; as procedures go, extraction is among the most routine. Using local anesthesia and post-operative pain management, undergoing a surgical extraction involves only minimal discomfort and a very short recovery time.
After examining your tooth we’ll recommend the best course for extraction, whether simple or surgical. In either case, we’ll see that your problem tooth is extracted as efficiently and painlessly as possible.
If you would like more information on tooth extractions, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Simple Tooth Extraction?”
It's an unfortunate fact of life. Sometimes a tooth must be extracted. Whether it's irreversibly decayed, abscessed, deeply cracked or simply blocking orthodontic correction, the extracted tooth leaves sutures and an empty socket behind. Dr. Islam Dehis of Little Smiles and Big Smiles in Fitchburg, MA, performs extractions expertly and comfortably, avoiding pain and complications. Also, good after care helps avoid a post-surgery problem called dry socket (alveolar osteitis). Learn what a dry socket is, how to prevent it, and how to treat it if it does occur.
What happens after an extraction in Fitchburg, MA?
Dr. Dehis carefully sutures the gums around the empty tooth socket, or hole left after he removes an ailing or injured tooth. These sutures stop bleeding and encourage formation of a blood clot at the site.
This small blood clot keeps the exposed jaw bone and nerves covered and avoids infection as well. Sometimes, however, this important clot becomes dislodged through smoking too soon after the procedure, rinsing too vigorously or drinking through a straw. Severe throbbing pain, which can spread to the ear, and bad breath accompany exposure of the bone. This urgent dental problem may happen 3 to 4 days after the tooth has been pulled.
Treatment of a dry socket
At the first signs a dry socket, the patient should call Dr. Dehis. He will rinse the area with antibacterial medication, remove any diseased tissue and apply new sutures and a dressing as needed. In addition, he may prescribe an antibiotic to quell infection and an analgesic to control pain.
Avoiding dry socket
Dry socket is relatively rare, occurring in only a small percentage of cases. Your dentist takes special precautions to avoid this complication, and he cautions his extraction patients to:
- Avoid smoking and drinking with a straw for several days post-procedure
- Encourage clot formation by biting gently on sterile gauze right after extraction
- Consume a soft diet (soup, pasta, yogurt) for at least 24 hours and advance to regular foods gradually over the next week
- Avoid very strenuous activity for a day or 2
- Take any medications Dr. Dehis prescribes
If you anticipate a dental extraction in Fitchburg, MA, ask your dentist about aftercare and how to avoid dry socket. Your dedicated team at Little Smiles and Big Smiles desires the best outcomes for all your dental treatments. If you are concerned about the health of a tooth or have a question or concern about any aspect of your oral health, please call (978) 343-2630 to speak to a friendly team member.