The Tooth Extraction Procedure Explained

Our Ipswich dentists explain how a tooth is removed in various different circumstances

Dentist in surgeryExtracting a tooth should always be a last option. There is nothing to beat having healthy natural teeth and even when a tooth has become damaged or has suffered decay, they can often be restored effectively using procedures such as teeth coloured fillings or the fitting of a crown.

There are times though, when extracting a tooth is the best and often only option available. This is usually done when the tooth is so badly compromised that it is causing pain or has a very poor prognosis.

It may also be causing difficulty in eating in some cases. Occasionally, it may be necessary to remove a tooth in order to fit a set of dentures or where a fixed bridge of multiple teeth is being secured using dental implants.

In today’s Foxhall Dental Practice blog, we will take a look at how a tooth is removed in two different situations; where the tooth is almost whole and the crown is largely present and where the crown has broken off, leaving just the root below the gum line.

Straightforward extractions

First of all, x-rays are usually taken to determine the nature of the problem and the condition of the surrounding bone structure. This will provide the dentist with the information needed to determine the best approach to take.

Next, a local anaesthetic will be given. You may be given more than one injection depending on the location and the nature of the problem. This will completely numb the area and, although you may feel some grinding sensations as the tooth is manoeuvred from the socket, you should not feel any actual pain during the procedure.

The dentist will then use a range of implements to gently grip the tooth and loosen it from its socket, detaching it from the tissue that holds it in place. They will then rock the tooth backwards and forwards a little before gradually and gently lifting it from its socket. It is usually during this stage that you can expect to experience some grinding sensation.

The tooth will then be removed and the hollow socket cleaned. Further x-rays may be taken if we feel there is a possibility that some of the root has broken away and may still remain in the socket. As you would expect, there will be some bleeding and you will be given some gauze to bite down onto the area to stop the blood flowing and to form the blood clot which is essential for effective healing.

You will be given full aftercare instructions including cleaning and you may be asked to arrange a follow up appointment to check that there are no complications.

Removal of a broken tooth root

Where the crown has broken away from the roots of the tooth, extracting it can sometimes be a little more complicated as the crown is not available to be gripped in order to extract the tooth.

As with general extractions, it will be necessary to take x-rays to see what is going on below the gumline and, as with a regular tooth extraction, a local anaesthetic will be administered to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.

As the roots of the tooth are situated below the gum line, it may, depending on the situation, be necessary to make a small incision in the gum to allow the dentist better access to make removal easier.

As the crown is no longer available to be gripped, your dentist may use a range of implements to extract the tooth from the socket. One of these which is commonly used is called an ‘elevator’ which, as the name suggests, causes the tooth roots to gently rise from the socket, allowing them to be removed without being ‘pulled’ due to the lack of the crown to grip in order to do this.

Occasionally, a tooth root will be so firmly attached or embedded that this technique proves difficult. In cases like this, it may be necessary to ‘section’ the tooth roots.This involves dividing the roots into smaller sections to allow for easier removal.

As with other types of extraction, aftercare is important and you will be given full advice on how best to do this.

It is worth noting that some root extractions can be more complicated, and in some instances it may require the specific skills of an oral surgeon to carry out this treatment.

As you can see from the above, extracting a tooth is a sophisticated procedure and isn’t just a case of ‘yanking’ the tooth out. People who attempt to do this at home are not only asking for a lot of pain potentially, but can also cause further problems if the roots don’t fully come out and can also cause significant damage to the bone too. Please, never attempt to do this yourself and seek the advice of one of our experienced Ipswich dentists.

As we stated at the start of the blog, extraction of a tooth should always be a last resort and good oral care is essential in order to prevent it from reaching this stage. As part of your oral care regime, you should see your dentist for a check up every six months. If you don’t currently have a check up appointment booked please call the Foxhall Dental Practice today on 01473 258396.