Despite being an extremely common dental procedure, tooth extraction can still be a cause for anxiety and confusion among patients who are unsure of how the procedure actually works.
However, tooth extraction doesn't have to be this way and innovations in technology along with a skilled dentist can make this procedure fast and relatively painless.
In this article, we'll give you the information you need to understand a tooth extraction procedure so you know what to expect before arriving for your appointment.
What Is A Tooth Extraction?
Tooth extraction is a common dental procedure that involves the removal of a tooth from its socket in the jaw. Dentists will always strive to save a tooth whenever possible, but extraction is sometimes necessary to prevent further dental problems and maintain overall oral health.
Some reasons for tooth extraction may include:
- Remaining baby tooth
- Tooth decay or infection
In many cases, when a tooth is extracted there is a second procedure involved to protect the area and restore function. This can be through a dental bridge or other methods depending on the situation.
How A Tooth Is Extracted
To begin the procedure, the dentist or oral surgeon will first administer local anesthesia to numb the area surrounding the tooth. This can take a few minutes to take effect, and during this time, the dentist or oral surgeon and their staff will prepare the necessary equipment for the procedure.
Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the dentist will use specialized tools to loosen the tooth from its socket. If the tooth is not damaged, the process is simple and a device known as an elevator is used to gently raise the tooth. Then, forceps are used to grip the tooth and remove it the rest of the way.
More Complicated Extractions
If the tooth has not erupted above the gum line, then the surgeon will need to make a small incision in the gums to access the tooth and allow it to be removed.
This adds more steps than a simple extraction, yet it is still a common procedure.
How Long Does The Tooth Extraction Procedure Take?
Now that you understand the process of extracting a tooth, we can explain how long the procedure is.
For simple extraction where the tooth is intact and showing, the process from start to finish will take approximately an hour. This includes the administration of the anesthesia and well as the post-operative cleaning of the removal area to prepare the patient to go home.
The actual extraction generally only takes 15 to 30 minutes.
More complex cases can go for over an hour and these may include if the tooth is damaged, has not erupted past the gumline, or is a molar.
When scheduling the appointment, your doctor will let you know which type of extraction you will undergo along with the approximate time the procedure will take.
In general, you should anticipate an appointment of one hour for common extractions.
More Information About Tooth Extractions
If you feel you may need to have a tooth extracted, it's important to speak with a dentist that has the experience and expertise to inform you of all your options.
At SmileMakers Dentistry, our team of professional dentists and surgeons can examine your teeth and inform you of all your options to maintain a healthy smile.
Contact SmileMakers Dentistry today and speak with our staff if you need a dental examination or tooth extracted.