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What to Expect During Tooth Extraction

It is a general consensus among tooth extraction Los Angeles dentists that many people are terrified of removing teeth. It could be due to false programming and idioms such as “Doing X difficult thing is like pulling teeth” or phobia of dental procedures.

Despite this, tooth extraction is actually a simple procedure that is easier when the patient cooperates. A patient who squirms and flinches at every sound, sight, and procedure make the process longer and more difficult. Part of being a cooperative patient is to know what to expect before the appointment. Here is the procedure of removing a tooth and what you can expect.

Tooth Removal Procedure

The first step of any extraction is to anesthetize the tooth and the surrounding gum area. This is done using an injection which is usually the only pain you will feel.

The dentist can use a numbing cream on your cheek around the extraction area to minimize the pain of the injection. Every tooth is tightly encased in a ligament and a socket in the jaw. The dentist has to rock the tooth back and forth to expand the somewhat spongy bone socket and enlarge it for easier extraction.

This also tears away the ligament making the tooth loose. At this point, the dentist can use special levers called elevators or extraction forceps that resemble pliers to loosen the tooth.

Extraction Tools

The elevator looks like a screwdriver and has a handle and a tip. The tip is wedged into the ligament between the tooth and the bone socket. It is then twisted and forced around the ligament space, pressing against the bone.

The tooth becomes more mobile and can move around. Sometimes the tooth can be removed after using just the elevator; if it’s not possible, he/ she will move to the extraction forceps. There are specific forceps for different shaped teeth like incisors or two or three-root molars.

The location of the tooth will also determine the choice of forceps. After grasping the tooth, the dentist then rocks the tooth back and forth until the socket gradually starts to expand. Together with the rocking motion, the dentist will also rotate the tooth to help tear the tooth away from its ligament. After the socket is expanded enough and the ligament well torn, the tooth comes out easily.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Tooth extraction Los Angeles dentists prefer warning patients that they will feel pressure, but it won’t lead to pain. You can also hear some strange noises, and you should be calm when this happens.

A broken tooth root is not uncommon but removing the broken piece can increase the duration of the procedure. Although the center of the jawbone is spongy, the outer part is dense and can fracture due to pressure. After the tooth is removed, the bone can be pushed back in place and heal together with the extraction wound.

The dentist will gently scrape (curetting) the empty socket to remove residue or pathological tissue and wash out the socket with water. He will then use a finger to return the expanded socket back in place. Stitches are normally used if multiple teeth have been removed. Gauze is used to control bleeding and encourage clotting.

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