Simple and surgical are the two main types of teeth extractions.  

Simple extractions are performed on the visible teeth. To reduce pain and numb the area, a local anesthetic is applied. General dentists use various tools, like elevators and forceps, to perform extractions. The first step is to loosen the tooth with an elevator. Then, the dentist grasps it with forceps. Next, the tooth is rocked back and forth, as the doctor applies a steady pressure until the ligaments break, freeing the tooth from the bone. 

Surgical extractions are performed on teeth that are not easy to access or see. This procedure is used on teeth that did not fully erupt, or teeth that fractured under the gums. The dentist may have to make an incision in the soft tissue to get to the tooth. Often, to speed the removal, the tooth is broken into smaller pieces. Surgical extractions are more complex and last longer than simple extractions, therefore general anesthesia is used. Oral surgeons are usually the experts that perform surgical extractions. 

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Why is a tooth extraction necessary? 

Humans get two sets of teeth to last them a lifetime. Sometimes, though, that does not happen. There are plenty of reasons for why tooth extractions may be necessary: 

  • Decay is extensive and your tooth is severely damaged. 

Tooth decay is produced by bacteria. If they reach the core of the tooth, the sensitive pulp, they can cause an infection. Root canal can be offered as a treatment option. In cases of recurring or severe infections, a tooth extraction may be needed. The dentist will share all possible remedies and explain the best solution to match your dental needs. 

  • Periodontal disease is affecting your teeth and gums. 

An infection of gums, ligaments, structures around the tooth, and alveolar bone (part of the jaw that connects to the tooth) is called periodontal disease. Gingivitis, or the infection of the gums, happens in the first stage of the illness. From there, it can progress to ligaments and the bone. The cause of periodontal disease are the bacteria found in plaque. In severe cases, periodontal disease causes teeth to loosen. In those instances, a tooth extraction may be unavoidable. 

  • You are suffering from an impacted tooth. 

A tooth that was blocked from coming out (or did not fully erupt) is called an impacted tooth. Most commonly, it refers to wisdom teeth. An extraction may be recommended to prevent the impacted tooth from damaging other teeth and lowering the risk of infections. Before the extraction can happen, an oral exam must be performed and X-rays of the affected area are taken. 

  • Your teeth are overcrowded. 

To solve the problem of overcrowding teeth, an extraction may be necessary. It is also recommended when orthodontic treatment cannot be offered, like when teeth do not have room to move or straighten. 

  • You have experienced an injury. 

If you have been in an accident and need emergency dental care, saving the teeth is always the first and best option. Restorations such as crowns or bridges may be suggested to fix your smile as well. However, in some cases, a tooth extraction may be necessary.  

Simple extractions are often preferred to surgical ones. The procedure is easier to perform, less risky and does not pose as many adverse effects. Both types of extractions help reduce pain and inflammation, fight infections and lower the probability of complications. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Tooth Extractions Columbus, Indiana [IN]

Can I prepare for a tooth extraction? 

A tooth extraction may be a stressful event. To feel more at ease, it is a good idea to prepare for it. Here are some factors to consider: 

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your dentist is there to help you and will gladly answer all of them. It is important that you understand the procedure, effects and risks involved. 
  • Be open about your medical history. If you are suffering from any illnesses, be sure to tell your doctor about them. Some conditions may make you more prone to infections. Also, bring a list of all medications you are taking. Your dentist or oral surgeon will want to check for possible drug interactions.  
  • Inquire about anesthesia and pain medication. Let your doctor know if you have any strong preferences of allergies. Ask about the medications that will be used during the procedure. They may have side effects. Share your former experiences with sedation or anesthesia if you had any. 
  • If possible, avoid eating for about 12 hours before the procedure. If only a local anesthetic will be applied, you may not have to fast this long. Ask your dentist about the right time frame. 
  • If you are a smoker, stop smoking for 12 hours before the extraction, and then 24 hours after. 
  • Be comfortable on the day of your procedure: wear loose clothing, skip make-up and perfume. Do not wear jewelry. If possible, put your hair back. 
  • When the procedure is complete, it is important that you have a friend or a family member with you. They will drive you home and help you recover. After a surgical extraction, it is also a good idea to take a few days off from work. 

What happens after the tooth removal? 

After the extraction is over, the healing process can begin. You may need at least a day or two to recover. Right after the procedure your tongue and cheeks may feel numb as anesthesia wears off. Expect a special diet of soft food and liquids. Be mindful to not dry out your socket – do not drink through straw, spit or rinse your mouth. Prop your head up when lying down. Take painkillers per doctor’s recommendations. Be gentle when brushing teeth and inspect the area of extraction. Some swelling is normal; however, if you develop symptoms such as chills, fever, nausea, vomiting, severe bleeding or swelling, chest pain or shortness of breath, call your doctor right away. 

Does insurance cover teeth extractions? 

Whether or not your insurance provider covers the procedure, depends on its type and cause. It is always a good idea to check your benefits. You can also discuss them with the dental office.

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