What is Tooth Extraction and When Should You See a Dentist or Oral Surgeon?

Tooth extraction is the removal of teeth from the dental socket of the alveolar bone. Both dentists and oral surgeons can perform tooth extractions, but dentists are not qualified to extract teeth under all types of circumstances. To find out if you should choose a dentist or an oral surgeon like Dr. Scherer for your teeth extraction, read on as we discuss this topic further. When a tooth is visible above the gum line, the dentist can simply remove the tooth with tweezers in a simple tooth extraction.

The dentist can remove the tooth without making an incision for conditions such as overcrowding or damaged teeth that don't break below the gum line. If this happens, the dentist will likely place a sedative dressing over the cavity for a few days to protect it when a new clot forms. Sometimes, the dentist will place some stitches (which usually dissolve on their own) to close the edges of the gums over the extraction site. To avoid potential complications, tell your dentist about all prescription, over-the-counter (OTC) and herbal medicines you are taking. Tell your dentist about any medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications, and about your medical history. When a dentist has to make a surgical incision in the gums, it is considered a surgical tooth extraction or oral surgery.

At the extraction appointment, the dentist will numb or anesthetize the tooth to be extracted, as well as the surrounding jaw and gums. If you develop dry alveolitis, the dentist will place a medicinal dressing in the socket to relieve pain and encourage healing. If the dentist determines that an oral surgeon is needed, most dental offices have oral surgeons that they work with and can easily make a referral. The procedure will likely involve general anesthesia and a cut in the mouth to extract the teeth, but if you're more comfortable with an oral surgeon, talk to your dentist for a good recommendation. Some stitches are absorbable and will disintegrate on their own; others must be removed by the dentist, usually about a week after surgery. For that reason, your dentist may recommend that you replace the missing tooth or teeth with an implant, a fixed bridge, or a denture.

In the case of surgical extractions, which usually cause more pain later on, the dentist may prescribe a prescription pain reliever. Patients who need a tooth extraction often wonder if they should see a dentist or an oral surgeon. To determine which professional is best suited for your needs, it's important to understand what type of extraction you need and what type of anesthesia is required. Your dentist can help you decide which option is best for you.

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