Teeth need to be extracted for a variety of reasons, and sometimes surgical extraction is required. Surgical extractions are performed by our talented maxillofacial surgeons and are a safe and effective way to remove a tooth.
When is a surgical extraction needed?
- When a tooth is broken and there is not enough tooth to allow us to grasp it with traditional extraction tools
- When teeth are cracked or extremely fragile, which could lead to fracturing during extraction
- When teeth have long or curved roots that might require additional force for removal
- When teeth are impacted and have not emerged out of the gums
How do I prepare for a tooth extraction?
Prior to beginning your surgical extraction, our maxillofacial surgeons complete a full medical and dental history. This includes knowing any medications you take, including vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter medications that could interact with the procedure. We then take an X-ray and any other images needed to determine our best course of action. Some patients may need to take an antibiotic prior to the procedure.
What happens during the extraction?
We will administer anesthesia to ensure you are as comfortable as possible during the procedure. Some patients may only require local anesthesia, while others may require IV sedation or general anesthesia.
Our surgeon will make a small incision in your gum in order to access the tooth that needs to be extracted. A special tool called a periotome will be used to release the ligament fibers that hold the tooth in place within the bone. In some cases, small portions of bone also need to be removed from around the tooth in order to complete the extraction.
Sometimes, we also need to section the tooth in order to remove it safely. Then, we loosen the tooth and expand the bony socket to allow for removal, if needed. The tooth is gently removed from the socket. If your tooth has been sectioned, our surgeons will remove the pieces in a precise order to ensure the extraction is as smooth as possible.
Pressure will be applied to control any bleeding. We typically have patients bite down on a piece of gauze for 20-30 minutes after. This helps a blood clot form to stop the bleeding.
What should I expect after my extraction?
There may be minor bleeding for up to 24 hours after surgery. Take pain medication as prescribed by our surgeons. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as Motrin, can also minimize pain. Use an ice pack to help relieve swelling. Take care to avoid hot foods and beverages in the first 24 hours, and stick to soft, cool foods in the first few days. Do not use a straw or spit after surgery as this can dislodge the blood clot that has formed.