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Dental treatments: Extractions


Procedure for Tooth Extractions

Before undergoing an extraction your dentist will give you a thorough oral examination and discuss your dental and medical history. At this stage you should tell your dentist about any medical conditions or medications which you have been prescribed. The extraction procedure is performed under local anaesthetic, so while you will be conscious, the affected area will be numbed to reduce discomfort during the procedure. Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, your dentist uses a tool called an elevator or forceps to widen the socket and loosen the tooth. Then, your dentist carefully holds the root of the tooth before moving it softly from side to side until it is ready to be completely removed. It is normal to feel some pressure in your mouth during the procedure, but the local anaesthetic should keep any discomfort to a minimum.


After the tooth has been successfully removed, there tends to be some bleeding and your dentist may use stitches to fasten the affected area. You will also be told to bite down on some padding so that the bleeding from your socket ceases.  In some cases, tooth extraction can be quite tricky to perform, so your dentist may have to cut through your gum to reach the tooth's root. Drilling through the bone to reach the root is also an option. It is important to remove the entire root as any remaining tissue could lead to an infection or even worse, an abscess.

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Risks involved in a Tooth Extraction

Although the vast majority of extractions are performed safely, as with all surgical procedures there are some risks involved. Potential complications of the surgery include; swelling, extended bleeding, severe pain and a fever. The most common complication of a tooth extraction is a dry socket, where the blood fails to clot and the socket heals very slowly. This can be very painful and may happen immediately after extraction. Fortunately, your dentist will be able to treat this problem easily using antibiotics and dress the wound. If you are taking the contraceptive pill or if you are a smoker, then you are at increased risk of developing dry socket after surgery.

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