Tooth extraction, in the simplest of terms, means to get a tooth pulled out. There could be a number of reasons why this may be required. Some of these are persistent tooth infections, misalignment of teeth (which requires taking out one or two to fix it) and a risk of infection arising from a weak immune system among many others. One of the major reasons why tooth extractions are required in children is lack in oral hygiene due to excessive eating of junk food, leaving behind particles in the teeth to form cavities. Based on the level of damage, the tooth extraction may take as little as 10 to 15 minutes or in complicated cases, may extend to even an hour or more.
The Central Procedure
The basic procedure of tooth extraction involves giving local anesthesia to dysfunction the pain sensation. It generally requires two to three injections for a single tooth. For more, the number of injections increases. When the area goes completely numb, the process is started which involves forming a small incision on the gums and tissue to make space for the instrument to hold the tooth. Once held, it is moved back and forth for a while so that it is loosened up from the roots. Ligaments in the roots of the teeth hold the teeth in place. In complicated cases, it is often required that the tooth be first divided in two or three pieces, by a cutter instrument, and the pieces pulled out separately. This happens when the exterior part of the tooth is broken either partially or completely.
Once the tooth is pulled out, a gauze bandage is placed in the empty space to stop the bleeding. You have to bite on it to do a proper job. In the case of incisions, stitches are also given for a few days. They either self-dissolve or you have to pay another visit to get them removed once healed.
Post- Extraction Care
There are some essential care tips that you can apply right after the extraction, helping you to better deal with pain and inflammation.
- Keep the gauze that was placed right after extraction in place for at least 30 minutes or so. If after removing the bleeding still persists, get a fresh one, fold it, place on the area and apply moderate pressure.
- Avoid touching the area with your tongue; it might infect it.
- Avoid alcoholic or acidic liquids for at least 24 hours after the extraction.
- Do not take solid foods for at least 12 hours after the extraction. In the meanwhile, you can go for soft and cold foods such as ice-cream, yogurt and milk shakes. Avoid spicy foods as well in the prescribed time.
- If you’ve been prescribed an anti-biotic, make sure that you take it on the right time and do not miss even a single dose.
- If you experience swelling or inflammation, gently rub ice on the inflamed area from the outside.
- Do not use tooth brush on the extraction area for 24 hours since it is quite sensitive and can be injured with the hard bristles.
- If your bleeding persists even after removing the gauze for the second time, call or visit the dentist immediately.