Tooth Removal

The extraction of teeth is a minor surgical procedure. While the great majority of extractions can be safely carried out in the dental office, some patients require hospitalization because of some medical problem.

With the advent of modern restorative techniques, a majority of teeth, which were earlier advised for extractions, can now be easily saved. However, in certain situations extractions are the only solution, as teeth that are decayed beyond restoration.

In cases where the excessive bone support of the tooth is destroyed :

Extra tooth
Retained milk tooth
Fractured tooth
Malposed tooth, which cannot be aligned by orthodontic treatment.
Impacted and unerupted tooth.

Wisdom tooth

Wisdom teeth usually emerge from the gum (erupt) between the ages of 17 and 24. They are the last of the molar teeth. Some people never develop wisdom teeth; others have up to four - one in each corner of the mouth.

Wisdom teeth often cause no problems. They are described as impacted when there is not enough space for them at the back of the mouth. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, swelling, infection or damage to the teeth next to them. If the gum around the wisdom tooth is swollen the jaw may become stiff and sore. Infection at the back of the mouth can cause bad breath and a bad taste. The surgical removal (extraction) of one or more wisdom teeth can relieve these problems. People who have impacted wisdom teeth that are not causing problems do not need to have them removed.

Having wisdom teeth removed is often the only way to permanently relieve painful symptoms. Although antibiotics can provide temporary relief, the symptoms tend to flare up again in the future.

In some cases, where a wisdom tooth is causing pain because it is pressing into the surrounding gum, removal may not be necessary - an operation to cut back the gum may be all that is needed. However, this alternative is not suitable for everyone.

Post Operative Care

  1. Do Not disturb the wounds :

    In doing so you may invite irritation, infection and/or bleeding. Chew on the opposite side for the first 24 hours.

  2. Do Not smoke for 12 hours :

    Smoking will promote bleeding and interfere with healing.

  3. Do Not Spit or Suck Through a Straw :

    This will promote bleeding and may dislodge the blood clot, which could result in a dry socket.

  4. Control of Bleeding :

    If the area is not closed with stitches, a pressure pack made of folded sterile gauze pads will be placed over the socket. It is important that this pack stay in place to control bleeding and to encourage clot formation. The gauze is usually kept in place for 30 minutes. If the bleeding has not stopped once the original pack is removed, place a new gauze pad over the extraction site.

  5. Control of Swellings :

    After surgery, some swelling is to be expected. This can be controlled through the use of cold packs, which slow the circulation. A cold pack is usually placed at the site of swelling during the first 24 hours in a cycle of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.

    After the first 24 hours, it is advisable to rinse with warm saltwater every two hours to promote healing. (One teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of warm water).

  6. Medication for Pain Control :

    Anti-inflammatory medication such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen is used to control minor discomfort following oral surgery. The dentist may prescribe stronger analgesics if the patient is in extreme discomfort.

  7. Diet and Nutrition :

    A soft diet may be prescribed for the patient for a few days following surgery. 

    Following the removal of your wisdom teeth it is important that you call your dentist if any unusual bleeding, swelling or pain occurs. The first 6-8 hours after the extraction are typically the worst, but are manageable with ice packs and non-prescription pain medication. You should also plan to see your dentist approximately one week later to ensure everything is healing well.