What is the involvement of oral surgery for tooth extractions? The Process

March 1, 2024

If you suffer a damaged, infected, or impacted tooth, your dentist near me may recommend having it extracted by an oral surgeon. Tooth extractions are common, but you may still have questions about the process. Let’s walk through what you can expect when you undergo oral surgery in Oswego, IL, for tooth extractions near you.

What causes a dentist to recommend full tooth extraction?

There could be several reasons why your dentist may advise having a tooth extracted:

  • Tooth decay – If a cavity has progressed to the point where a filling cannot repair it, the tooth may need to be removed. Decay that reaches the pulp requires extraction.
  • Periodontal disease – Severe gum disease can damage the bone and supporting structures of the tooth. Extracting the gum may help halt the progression of the disease.
  • Tooth fracture – If a tooth is cracked extensively or fractured off at the gum line, it often cannot be saved and needs extraction.
  • Impacted teeth – Teeth that fail to emerge properly through the gums and are stuck in bone often require extraction for removal.
  • Orthodontics – Sometimes, teeth are extracted to make room for the movement of surrounding teeth during orthodontic treatment.
  • Infection – An abscess or advanced infection in the tooth or gums indicates the tooth should be removed to stop the infection from spreading.
  • Crowding – Extracting overcrowded or supernumerary teeth can relieve crowding issues.
  • Before procedures – Teeth may be extracted before treatments like dentures, implants, or radiation to the head/neck.

How does the oral surgeon numb the area before extracting?

Oral surgeons want to keep you comfortable during tooth extraction procedures. They use local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth beforehand fully:

  • First, they will clean the area with an antiseptic solution to prevent infection.
  • Next, they inject a numbing agent, such as lidocaine, into the gum tissue around the tooth’s base. This blocks pain receptors in the nerves of the tissue.
  • The area will become numb as the anesthetic takes effect over several minutes. You should not feel any pain.
  • Additional anesthetic is administered as needed to maintain numbness throughout the procedure.
  • You remain awake during the extraction, so inform your surgeon if you feel discomfort.

What tools and methods are used to extract teeth?

Oral surgeons have specialized tools and methods for removing teeth swiftly and safely:

  • They use dental elevators to loosen the tooth and surrounding gum tissue from the bone.
  • Forceps rock the tooth back and forth to widen the space around it.
  • Luxators separate ligaments connecting the tooth to the bone.
  • The tooth must be sectioned into pieces with a drill to facilitate easier removal.
  • To access it, the surgeon may need to cut into gum tissue covering an impacted tooth.
  • Finally, they use extraction forceps to grasp the tooth and work it free with a gentle twisting motion.
  • Once out, they will clean the socket and use sutures to close the gum tissue if needed.

How long does a routine tooth extraction procedure take?

For a simple extraction of an exposed tooth, the process typically takes between 30-60 minutes:

  • Administering anesthesia takes around 10-15 minutes to numb the area fully.
  • Loosening and removing the tooth generally takes only 5-10 minutes.
  • Stopping minor bleeding and closing the wound with sutures takes 10-15 additional minutes.
  • Extraction of impacted or broken teeth often takes longer, sometimes up to an hour.
  • Plan to spend 30-90 minutes at your oral surgeon’s office, depending on your case.

What can you expect during your recovery period afterward?

Following a tooth extraction, you can expect:

  • Numbness in the area for several hours after the anesthetic wears off.
  • Minor pain and discomfort near the extraction site as anesthesia fades.
  • Swelling around the cheeks and gums that peaks on days 2-3, then gradually improves.
  • Bruising around the area resolves within 7-14 days.
  • Bleeding that may persist for several hours and should slow with gauze pressure.
  • Sensitivity when having hot or cold foods. This typically resolves within a few weeks.
  • Antibiotics or pain medication are prescribed to reduce infection risk and keep you comfortable.

How is an extraction site cared for properly post-surgery?

Proper aftercare ensures your extraction site heals quickly and minimizes the risk of complications:

  • Use ice packs on your face for 15 minutes to reduce swelling.
  • Take prescribed antibiotics and analgesics as directed to prevent infection and manage pain.
  • Eat only soft foods for the initial 2-3 days and avoid hot or cold foods.
  • Brush gently around the site, but avoid disturbing or dislodging the blood clot.
  • Clean your mouth with some warm salt water after meals to keep the area clean.
  • Avoid smoking, drinking from straws, or other activities that create suction in the mouth.
  • See your dentist promptly if bleeding, swelling, or severe pain persists beyond the first few days.

If a tooth needs to come out, don’t worry. With today’s advanced tools and techniques, extractions are routine procedures. Just be sure to follow your oral surgeon’s pre- and post-op instructions closely for smooth healing. If you need a tooth extracted near Oswego, IL, contact our office at Distinctive Dental Care to schedule oral surgery and get your smile back to health.

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