Extracting one or twenty primary teeth is not a concern because they have to make way for new, adult teeth anyway. Except when they’re lost prematurely and you need to consider getting space retainers for your child. Permanent teeth may also need to be removed for medical or cosmetic purposes as a step in a larger treatment plan. Whatever the reason for seeking a tooth extraction, the dentist will apply one of two approaches to remove the pertinent tooth: simple extraction or surgical extraction.
What to expect?
Simple tooth extraction is commonly used to remove teeth that are visible and easily accessible in the mouth. It is a simple and fast in-office procedure that requires little to no recovery time.
The basic steps of a simple extraction include:
- Numbing the area using a local anesthetic to reduce pain
- Using an elevator to loosen the pertinent tooth by applying controlled force on the tooth to move the tooth back and forth in order to break the periodontal ligament and loosen the tooth from the alveolar bone
- Grasping the visible part of the tooth using dental forceps for extraction
Multiple teeth can be extracted at the same time provided they’re not hiding beneath the gums. After the procedure, your dentist will instruct you on how to care for the socket.
When simple extraction is not a viable option
If the said tooth is not visible in the mouth, perhaps because the crown has broken leaving behind the tooth root, or the tooth is yet to erupt, then the dentist may recommend surgical extraction. This approach involves making an incision into the connecting tissue to access the tooth being removed. This procedure often requires a local anesthetic, though general anesthesia may also be used if the patient is anxious.
Simple vs. surgical extraction
Simple tooth extraction is the preferred choice whenever possible, because they’re not only easier to perform, but also allow for faster healing, and have a lower risk of complications occurring. If your child is afraid of getting a tooth removed, you can consult with your dentist about how to help him/her calm down and even look forward to the emergence of new, permanent teeth.