Extraction (also known as Exodontia)

Extraction is the term given to a tooth extraction and can also be known as Exodontia. Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone.

Extraction of a tooth can be performed for any number of reasons including positional structural or economic reasons. Teeth are often removed because they are impacted (lack of space between teeth). Teeth become impacted when they are prevented from growing into their normal position in the mouth by gum tissue bone or other teeth. Impaction is a common reason for the extraction of wisdom teeth. Extraction is the only known method that will prevent further problems.

Teeth may also be extracted to make more room in the mouth prior to straightening the remaining teeth (orthodontic treatment) or because they are so badly positioned that straightening is impossible. Extraction may be used to remove teeth that are so badly decayed or broken that they cannot be restored.

Sometimes extractions are chosen as a less expensive alternative to filling or placing a crown on a severely decayed tooth.

Tooth extraction can be performed with local anesthesia if the tooth is exposed and appears to be easily removable in one piece. An instrument called an elevator is used to loosen the tooth widen the space in the bone and break the tiny elastic fibers that attach the tooth to the bone. Once the tooth is dislocated from the bone it can be lifted and removed with forceps.

If the extraction is likely to be difficult the dentist may refer the patient to an oral surgeon. Oral surgeons are specialists who are trained to give nitrous oxide a general anesthetic to relieve pain. Extracting an impacted tooth is one such difficult extraction.

In some situations tooth extractions may need to be postponed temporarily. These situations include:

If an infection has progressed from the tooth into the bone. Infections may make anesthesia difficult and are treated with antibiotics before the tooth is extracted. If a patient has been using drugs such as aspirin within three days of the procedures as these drugs thin the blood Patients who have had heart valve replacement open-heart surgery prosthetic joint replacement or placement of a medical shunt within the previous six months:

Before an extraction the dentist will take the patient's medical history noting allergies and prescription medications. A dental history is also taken with particular attention to previous extractions and reactions to anesthetics. The tooth is also x-rayed to determine its full shape and position especially if it is impacted.

An important aspect of tooth extraction is the aftercare and encouraging a clot to form at the extraction site. The patient should put pressure on the area by biting gently on a roll for several hours after surgery. Once the clot is formed it should not be disturbed. The patient should not rinse spit drink with a straw or smoke for at least 24 hours after the extraction and preferably longer.

For the first two days after the procedure the patient should drink liquids without using a straw and eat soft foods. Any chewing must be done on the side away from the extraction site. The mouth may be gently cleaned with a toothbrush but the extraction area should not be scrubbed.

Potential complications of tooth extraction include:

Postoperative infection Temporary numbness from nerve irritation Jaw fracture and jaw joint pain. Dry socket. A condition where a blood clot does not properly form in the empty tooth socket allowing the bone beneath the socket to be painfully exposed to air and food causing the extraction site to heal more slowly.

Having a missing tooth can lead to several problems such as shifting teeth difficulty chewing and malocclusion (poor teeth positioning). Often a dentist will attempt to restore the area with an implant fixed bridge or a denture.

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