Extractions General Dentistry

If you need a tooth extraction, you will likely be wondering who should perform the procedure. You may also wonder when they should do it and what setting is appropriate. While both dentists and oral surgeons are qualified to perform a tooth extraction, there are many reasons to look at.

This blog post will discuss these factors that are important to consider before any tooth extraction takes place.

Many people have experienced having their tooth (or teeth) pulled because of impacted wisdom teeth to avoid complications. However, there are a variety of other reasons to consider tooth extraction.Such dental problems as impacted teeth, tooth infection, extensive tooth decay, or caries commonly require tooth extraction.

Tooth extraction is the process of removing a tooth from a tooth socket that is decayed or infected. This may be done when it would not heal on its own, which means there are no options other than to extract this tooth.

This is one of the common dental procedures performed by a general dentist or an oral surgeon depending on the case and type of extraction. To avoid pain during the procedure, the dentist will administer local or general anaesthesia to the patient.

Who Extracts Teeth?

If you have a dental problem, the first thing you should do is call your dentist. Many dental practises providing after-hours assistance for individuals who require care beyond normal business hours. Your dentist will assess the situation to determine if an extraction is necessary and whether it can be performed in the office. X-rays and an examination of the affected tooth or teeth are often performed during this appointment.

As mentioned, both general dentists and oral surgeons can perform tooth extractions. However, dentists may not perform tooth extractions in all circumstances as some cases may require a more extensive approach and specific training to execute the extraction. In contrast, oral surgeons are qualified to do more complex cases. Meaning, when you have a severe case such as an impacted wisdom tooth, the damaged tooth is located beneath the gums or requires specific surgery, you will most likely need the services of an oral surgeon.

When determining who will perform your tooth extraction, numerous factors need to be considered to ensure a successful treatment, quality dental care, and safety.

To enlighten, we’ll first discuss the two types of extraction:

  • Simple extraction. If the affected tooth is visible in the gumline and easy to access, the dentist may be able to pull it out with special dental instruments such as forceps. Hence, the procedure is quite simple.
  • Surgery extraction. A tooth located underneath the gumline requires an incision and removing some parts of bone to expose and remove the tooth. This extraction procedure is more extensive and may take longer to complete.

Typically, tooth extractions are simple and can be performed by a dentist. Referrals to oral surgeons would be made only if the tooth indicated a problem, such as a portion of the tooth root breaking off as the tooth was pulled out, although this rarely happens. 

Proper consultation is still necessary to identify the situation. Only dental professionals can develop a suitable treatment plan for you. The best person for your case is determined by the treatment you require. Without examining your teeth and mouth, it is challenging to tell who will perform the tooth removal.

When Should an Oral Surgeon Extract Your Teeth?

Aside from their skill and expertise in performing surgical tooth extractions, oral surgeons are also preferred for tooth extraction for a variety of other reasons:

These are some indications in determining who will perform the tooth extraction:

Dental anxiety

If you have dental anxiety or fear going to the dental clinic, referral to an oral surgeon can be beneficial. They are permitted and qualified to safely administer a higher concentration of numbing agent, such as oral anesthesia.

Risk of complication

If the dentist sees a potential risk of complication before the extraction, there’s a chance that you need to undergo surgical extraction. A dental surgeon may be required to complete the treatment if the tooth has complex roots or cracks during the surgery. In this circumstance, additional techniques are needed. Thus, you would be referred to a surgeon as soon as possible to reduce discomfort and the possibility of future complications.

Damaged tooth

If the dentist sees a potential risk of complication before the extraction, there’s a chance that you need to undergo surgical extraction. A dental surgeon may be required to complete the treatment if the tooth has complex roots or cracks during the surgery. In this circumstance, additional techniques are needed. Thus, you would be referred to a surgeon as soon as possible to reduce discomfort and the possibility of future complications.

Your facial structure

In some cases, a dentist may find it challenging to perform an extraction because of the position of the affected tooth. An oral surgeon may be required to extract a tooth due to issues such as large sinuses or limited jaw mobility.

Impacted teeth

If your teeth are impacted (common with wisdom teeth) or partially below the gum line, extracting them becomes more complicated than simply pulling them out. However, this treatment may be performed by a dentist or an oral surgeon. The treatment will most likely include general anaesthesia and making an incision into the mouth to remove the teeth. Yet, if you are more comfortable with an oral surgeon, discuss it with your dentist for a referral.

Settings of Tooth Extraction 

The setting of a tooth extraction procedure varies depending on who will perform the treatment. The procedure may occur in the dental office if the dentist performs the tooth removal or a less invasive procedure.

In contrast, if there’s the additional risk of complication and your case is more complicated than needs additional techniques, such as putting you to sleep, you will refer to an oral surgeon. The setting could be in the hospital dental clinic.

Overall, you can discuss the whole process with your dentist before the procedure so you can prepare well.

FAQs About Tooth Extractions

Is tooth extraction bad?

Dental professionals only recommend tooth extraction if other dental treatments can not save the affected tooth. It is relatively safe when performed correctly. Complications are rare, but the patient should be aware of them. The dentist will take all safety measures to ensure a successful treatment.

How to avoid tooth extraction?

It is important to keep your mouth and teeth healthy. Not just to avoid tooth extraction, but also to prevent dental problems that may have an impact on your general health. Several measures can be taken to achieve this, which may include the following:

Who performs wisdom tooth extraction?

A general dentist can remove a wisdom tooth if they have additional training or if the tooth is easy to access. However, if the case of the wisdom tooth may affect the tooth structure or the roots that may compromise the health of the adjacent teeth or gum tissue, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon may be required to perform the tooth extraction.

What to expect with tooth extraction?

Anaesthesia will be administered to the patient before the procedure. It will serve as protection to prevent you from feeling pain or discomfort during the removal process.

Once the dentist or surgeon ensures that the teeth, gums, or extracted area are numb, the extraction will occur.

If the affected tooth is visible in the gumline, the dental professional will extract it by rocking and pulling it to loosen it. But if the tooth is hidden or partially erupted from the gums, the dentist or surgeon will perform removal of gum tissue, make an incision, and remove obstructing bone area to expose the tooth.

The patient should not experience any pain during the entire procedure. Although, they can expect to feel firm pressure and hear the tooth cracking.

Once the tooth has been removed, the dentist will put a gauze pad to manage the bleeding. Naturally, blood clot formation is expected at the extraction site to protect the underlying nerves and soft tissues. Then you can expect an aftercare instruction to help you manage any side effects and avoid a dry socket.

Dental Restrictions Officially Lifted As of 22/10/21

As advised by Victoria's Chief Health Officer and Premier Daniel Andrews, it is expected that from 11.59 pm Thursday, October 21, 2021, the current COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted for Greater Melbourne.

Lockdown restrictions have now been lifted across Victoria. The Authorised Worker list no longer applies which means that dental practices can return to pre-lockdown settings with no restrictions on patient access to care.

Learn More