Extractions General Dentistry

We all know that tooth extraction can be painful. Hence, why it’s no secret that everyone fears the extraction process. But what most patients do not know is that tooth extraction is one of the common dental procedures. It is performed by dental professionals to save the remaining teeth and maintain oral health. If done properly, it is usually a safe and quick procedure.

Here, we’ll discuss the two types of tooth extraction, which will answer frequent questions such as the difference and what factors are considered qualified for an invasive procedure of removing a tooth (or teeth).

What Is Tooth Extraction?

Although preserving your natural teeth is the top priority, there are times when teeth must be extracted. Trauma, oral disease, crowding, and infections in the mouth are some of the reasons why tooth extraction is necessary. Among these, the most frequent reason is removing wisdom teeth, which may involve more complex techniques.

Tooth extraction is a dental procedure that aims to remove a single tooth or number of teeth from its tooth socket. The dentist will determine whether the procedure is through surgical extraction or simple extraction. For complex extractions, you may be referred to an oral surgeon or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Simple extraction and surgical extraction are the two main types of tooth extraction. A simple dental extraction is the procedure of removing teeth that are visible and easily accessible. In contrast, surgical dental extraction often involves an incision to get access to the tooth to be removed.

In some cases, your dentist may advise you that dental extraction is not necessary. However, delaying treatment may lead to further complications in the future, such as oral diseases, biting problems, jaw problems, and shifting teeth.

Difference Between Simple Extraction and Surgical Extraction 

There are two types of dental extraction, both of which reduce the risk of complications, including infection, pain, and inflammation.

The dentist will review your medical records and dental history thoroughly to develop a suitable treatment plan for you. Regardless of the reason behind your tooth extraction, the dentist will determine which one is ideal for removing the affected tooth in your case.

Simple extraction

The simple extraction procedure is relatively easy and can even be done by your dentist in the office, so there is little to no major recovery time. This kind of extraction is performed on teeth visible in the mouth and not hidden underneath the gums.

An elevator and dental forceps are used to extract the affected tooth and grip the tooth’s visible part. The elevator is being used to loosen the tooth while the forceps hold the tooth for extraction. The tooth can then be pushed back and forth until the periodontal ligament breaks sufficiently to allow the tooth to be extracted from the alveolar bone. Although the procedure is not unpleasant, you will feel considerable pressure during the removal process.

General dentists can perform this procedure using local anaesthesia on the patient, numbing the area to prevent pain. Yet, sometimes dentists refer patients requiring more complex tooth extractions to an oral surgeon.

Broken or decaying teeth, teeth that cannot be grasped with forceps, and weak teeth, for example, frequently necessitate surgical procedures. The shape, size, and position of a tooth all play a role in determining whether someone requires simple or surgical extraction.

A simple extraction rarely causes significant complications, and most patients recover within ten days.

Surgical extraction

A different approach will be required for teeth that are not visible in the mouth. Surgical tooth extractions are used to remove teeth that are not readily accessible. Some of the reasons are teeth that have not erupted through the gum or broken teeth. 

During the removal process, an incision into the connective tissue surrounding the tooth is required to allow access to the tooth for extraction. For instance, the soft tissues around the tooth may need to be lifted, or a drill or osteotome may be used to remove some of the adjacent jawbones during the extraction procedure.

In most cases, it may be necessary to fragment the tooth into a few pieces to remove it.

Since this type of extraction is a more invasive procedure, it is often performed under general anesthesia. Typically, the surgery will be performed by a specialist known as an oral maxillofacial surgeon. However, some general dentists are also qualified to execute it.

Surgical extractions typically necessitate more extensive aftercare in the days following surgery; therefore, consult with your doctor about how to properly care for your mouth and avoid a slow healing time.

tooth extractions

When Does a Tooth Qualify as A Surgical Extraction?

The dental professional will determine which type of dental extraction you need. They will take the necessary measures, such as taking a dental x-ray, examining your teeth and mouth to decide. Although, there are cases when a simple extraction needs surgical treatment. For instance, the dentist will do a more extensive procedure if a tooth breaks off during the operation. 

Several factors are considered to decide if you will be qualified to undergo surgical extraction. The following, but are not limited to:

In general, simple tooth extractions are recommended whenever possible because they are easier to perform and have fewer side effects than surgical tooth extractions. Yet, there is rarely a choice between the two procedures; if the tooth is visible, a simple tooth extraction is always performed, while surgical extraction is the only procedure that will work for not visible or easily accessible teeth.

Cost of Simple Tooth Extraction 

 Simple extractions are carried out without the need for an incision or any other special tooth removal techniques. Unlike complex procedures, this type of extraction involves removing visible teeth. Although most dentists do simple extractions, sometimes simple extraction cases are referred to oral surgeons.

The majority of simple extractions need only a local anesthetic to numb the area surrounding the damaged tooth, including the gum, jaw bone, and teeth. The procedure is not painful, but you will experience a great deal of pressure during the extraction.

The average cost of simple extraction in Victoria, Australia, may range from $187.69 to $300. 

Cost of Surgical Tooth Extraction 

Surgical tooth extraction is performed to remove an affected tooth that is typically beneath the gums. This type of extraction requires the surgeon (or dentist) to make an incision to expose the tooth.

Both a general dentist and an oral surgeon can perform a surgical extraction. An oral surgeon has the specific knowledge and skills needed to perform this type of removal safely. Surgical extractions take longer and may require the use of general anesthesia.

In contrast, the average cost of a surgical extraction like wisdom teeth removal may range between $284.67 and $2,300.

FAQs About Tooth Extractions

How long does surgical extraction take?

The duration of the tooth extraction procedure varies. If you only need one tooth pulled, the process can be completed in 20-40 minutes. However, if you need multiple teeth removed, you can expect to spend more time in the dental clinic.

When determining the duration of time that extraction may take, certain factors should be considered. All of these factors can influence how long the procedure will take:

Aftercare of extraction site of a tooth surgically removed.

Change the gauze pad

After an extraction, the dentist or dental surgeon will apply a thick layer of gauze to the extraction site. Biting down on the gauze with gentle but firm pressure will aid in bleeding control.

The gauze must be left on for at least 20–30 minutes. When the gauze becomes covered with blood, the patient must replace it.

Mild bleeding may occur during the first and second days following an extraction. This will subside once a blood clot forms.

Pain relievers

The numbness caused by the local anesthetic should only persist a few hours after the extraction. If the numbness persists, consult your dentist.

Following an extraction, you might experience some pain and discomfort. Take any prescription pain medications according to your dentist’s instructions. These medications can help you recover without causing pain, but they do have some risks. Before taking prescribed pain medication, discuss the risks and benefits with your dentist.

Reduce inflammation

Mild swelling is expected. To minimise swelling, apply cold packs to your face for fifteen minutes at a time for the first twenty-four hours after tooth extraction. After that, you can control pain using heat therapy in the form of warm washcloths.

Eat healthily

Drink plenty of water and consume soft, healthy foods after tooth extraction. It is best to avoid chewy or crunchy foods in the meantime.

When chewing becomes more comfortable, gradually reintroduce solid foods. The dentist will advise you to chew on the opposite side of the extraction site until the area has healed completely. Opt for soft foods such as mashed potatoes, soft vegetables, blended soups, yogurt, scrambled eggs, mashed bananas, applesauce, and avocado during the healing process.

Maintaining good oral hygiene

After twelve to twenty-four hours, you can continue your oral hygiene routine together with gently rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater. But avoid brushing and flossing the extraction site.

Avoid damaging the extraction site

It is essential to do the following during the first twenty-four to forty-eight hours after the extraction:

Does insurance cover surgical extraction?

It is possible to pay less for tooth extractions if you have approved dental insurance.

According to Medicare, they do not cover most routine dental care and procedures, and patients are responsible for paying 100% for such non-covered services. Yet, in some cases, they can provide coverage if a person requires dental care to improve their general health or improve their chances of receiving a positive outcome from another approved service.

The following are the only instances in which Medicare may cover public-sector dentistry, such as tooth extractions:

  • Treatment is medically required. If your oral health compromises your general health, there is a valid medical purpose, and you cannot afford the entire cost of treatment, you may be able to get covered. In most cases, you will require a referral from your primary care physician.
  • Concession Card holders. Among these are Health Care Cards, Pensioner Concession Cards, and Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards.
  • Child Dental Benefits Schedule. Children whose parents are eligible for Medicare may be covered by this plan.