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Extracting a tooth, formally known as a dental extraction, sometimes referred to as tooth extraction or even tooth pulling, is simply the removal of teeth from the gum socket (dental alveolus).
Why pull out a tooth?
There are many reasons why you would opt for teeth extraction, the most common reason being damaged or decaying teeth.
Other reasons are explained in the list below but are not limited to these.
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Teeth that are badly aligned, supplementary or malformed teeth
- Orthodontic treatment preparation - teeth that need to be removed in preparation
for placement of braces or teeth alignment
- Excess tooth that maybe blocking other teeth from growing or coming through
- Impacted Wisdom teeth would qualify for removal if there is evidence of disease
in the impacted tooth itself or close to it.
There are two types of extraction:
a) Simple Extraction; and b) Surgical Extraction
Simple extractions - patient would normally go under local
anaesthetic with the tooth being physically lifted and pulled, rocked back and forth,
until the tooth actually breaks away from periodontal ligament.
Surgical Extraction is normally employed when the tooth cannot be accessed easily.
Many times the tooth would be under the gum line and would need to be split or fractured into multiple pieces before it can be successfully removed.
Healing after teeth extraction
After the tooth has been removed, pressure is applied to the space where the tooth was, by the patient biting down on a swab. This allows a 'blood clot' (thrombus) to form in the socket preventing further bleeding. Sometimes it can take up to 30 minutes of continued pressure to fully stop the bleeding.
As the healing process progresses the chance of further bleeding is reduced and most likely will completely stop after 24 hours.
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