Oral Surgical Procedures
Minor oral surgical procedures like routine extraction
of teeth are done by a specialist.
A tooth extraction is a routine dental treatment that helps
prevent more serious dental problems.
The most common tooth extractions are wisdom teeth extractions,
but we may also advise removing a tooth if it's coming in
at an angle, threatening the position of other healthy teeth
or contributing to overcrowding in the mouth.
In some cases, a broken tooth may also need to be extracted,
as well as teeth with significant tooth decay that cannot
be treated by a root canal. Patients with advanced gum disease
may be considered for an extraction when gum disease treatment
doesn't work. While it's our goal to do everything to save
your tooth, in the end, removing a potentially harmful tooth
can spare you time, money and discomfort.
A tooth extraction goes like this: To start, you'll receive
a local anesthetic to numb the tooth, jawbone and surrounding
gums. If necessary, sedation dentistry can be used to help
you relax during the procedure. Using a sterilized dental
tool, your dentist, or oral surgeon, will first rock the tooth
back and forth, and then rotate it to widen the socket for
easier extraction. Because your pain receptors have been numbed,
you may sense a dull pressure during this process, but shouldn't
feel any pain. When the tooth is fully detached, it will be
removed and the exposed gum will be covered with a small piece
of gauze. You will be advised to bite gently on gauze for
30 minutes to an hour.
Unlike some dental procedures, most tooth extractions are
complete in a matter of minutes, so you don't have to worry
about sitting in the dental chair for long.
Be sure to follow your dentist's guidelines -- they can
help you avoid complications and discomfort.
Additional instructions may include:
• Applying ice to the jaw area if you experience swelling
• Continuing to brush, but avoiding the area surrounding
• Gently rinsing your mouth with water
• Taking an antibiotic or pain reliever, if needed
• Avoiding smoking or using a straw for at least 24
You may also be advised to stay away from certain foods and
strenuous activity for the first few days. The good news is
with proper dental care, your mouth should start to feel normal
again in 1-2 weeks.
Minor surgeries involving removal of
impacted wisdom teeth are also done under local anaesthesia.
By the time wisdom teeth make their appearance
-- some time between the ages of 17 and 25 -- there usually
isn't enough room left in the mouth for them to fit comfortably.
When the jaw isn't large enough to accommodate
wisdom teeth, they can become impacted. Impacted teeth may
grow sideways, emerge only part way from the gum or remain
trapped entirely beneath the gum and jaw bone. Each of these
possibilities can cause problems, including:
Pressure Pain: Impacted wisdom
teeth often have to squeeze in next to teeth that have already
settled into place, causing pain and discomfort.
Gum Infection: Bacteria trapped
around a wisdom tooth underneath the gum can cause infection.
The result is pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness.
Tooth Decay: Partially erupted
wisdom teeth can be hard to reach, making proper brushing
and flossing more difficult. Bacteria and food particles can
gather causing tooth decay and gum disease.
Cysts: A fluid filled sac (cyst)
can develop around the gum of an impacted wisdom tooth. On
rare occasions, a tumour can develop inside the cyst that
can fracture the jaw.
Obviously, these are wisdom teeth symptoms that
no one wants to -- or should -- live with, making wisdom teeth