Oral surgery is the branch of dentistry that deals with tooth extraction. Your own dentist will usually perform your extractions, but in some cases, you may be referred to our oral surgeon. The removal of impacted teeth, wisdom teeth, bone grafting, as well as the exposure of misplaced teeth, are among the more complex treatments. These situations frequently require a minor surgical procedure, but in the hands of an experienced surgeon, this is usually simple and should not cause concern.
Areas of oral surgery
Extractions and surgical extractions
Some teeth that are severely decayed or broken down cannot be saved. This is also true for some teeth that are surrounded by advanced gum disease, to the point where the tooth is no longer repairable. If these teeth are left in place, they can cause pain, infection, abscesses, and the spread of gum disease. As a result, they must be extracted in order to avoid such problems.
For teeth that are already broken right down to the gum level, a “surgical” extraction is required to remove the teeth. This entails making a small nick in the gum to expose the tooth so that it can be removed completely. This is a very simple procedure that is usually performed under local anaesthesia (with an injection).
Where appropriate, this procedure can be performed under sedation (see nervous patients section) or under general anesthesia.
Wisdom tooth extractions
Many people need their wisdom teeth extracted because there isn’t enough room in their jaws for them to come through normally. When this occurs, the teeth occasionally begin to poke through the gum on their sides.
In other cases, the wisdom teeth are completely buried beneath the gum. In many of the cases mentioned above, wisdom teeth cause pain and infections because we can’t keep them clean when they’re below the gum line, so food gets trapped around them and infections develop.
What to expect after a tooth extraction
For most people, the recovery time after a tooth extraction is relatively short, ranging between seven and ten days until the gums fully heal. After the anesthesia wears off, patients may experience mild discomfort, which can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain relievers.
To avoid a dry socket, we strongly advise you to stop smoking until full recovery, eat soft foods only for a few days, and chew on the opposite side of your mouth. Within the first 24 hours after the extraction, avoid drinking with a straw, spitting, and sneezing (to the best of your ability).
What is a dry socket?
Dry socket is a condition that occurs when the gum fails to heal properly following tooth extraction. If there are no complications following the extraction, a blood clot forms in the place of the missing tooth and protects the nerves and bones, allowing the gum to heal. If this does not occur, the nerves and bone remain exposed inside the mouth, resulting in “dry socket.” This is why it is important not to rinse or spit at first to avoid disturbing the blood clot.