Healthy Smiles Dental
Matthew T. Kingston, DMD
Tooth extraction is a common procedure performed by a trained dentist. Extractions are also called oral and maxillofacial surgery. It involves the removal of the tooth from the bony socket where it is attached to. Tooth extraction can be painless with the help of a local anesthesia via intravenous application.
Am I a Candidate for Tooth Extraction?
There are a lot of reasons why tooth extraction is performed. One of the most common reasons why patients need to undergo the procedure is that the tooth might be impacted or can’t erupt properly on its own. In fact, the most common teeth that need to be extracted are the third molars—commonly referred to as the wisdom teeth.
Process and Recovery for Extractions
Before extractions are started, the dentist usually performs a series of tests in order to find out the orientation of the molar, veins, and nerves on the mandible. By doing so, the dentist will be able to carefully plan out how to perform the operation with minimal risks.
Once the procedure is done, the patient might have to endure some mild side effects which include bleeding, swelling, and numbness on the area. However, these should go away after a few days. During the convalescence period, the patient is discouraged from eating solid foods for the first few days. In fact, the patient needs to rest for seven days until the symptoms are gone. For the gum to completely heal, the patient needs to wait three to four weeks before it completely closes up.
If the patient suffers from complications such as dry socket or infection, the healing or recovery time can take longer. Problems with infection can easily be remedied by taking antibiotics while dry socket should let up after a few days. It is crucial to take note that the healing time varies from one patient to the other. Generally, it will take five to seven days for the patient to recover from extractions but those with weak immune systems often require a few weeks more to fully recover.