The following Dental information pages answers many of
your questions on dental extractions, wisdom teeth extractions and oral
What is general anesthesia?
General anesthesia is reversible loss of consciousness along with loss
of all sensation. General anesthetic drugs also help in controlling pain
and relax the muscles of the body. General anesthetics are used in complicated
surgical procedures that may take a long duration and when the surgery is
done in multiple sites. They are also useful in unco-operative patients.
Why does it bleed after extraction?
Once the tooth is extracted a wound is created and therefore bleeding occurs.
The bleeding stops once a stable clot forms. But in some patients minor
seeping of blood may be seen for a day or two after extraction and their
saliva may be tinged with blood. This need not be a cause for worry to the
patient. However profuse bleeding must be brought to the notice of your
What happens after a tooth is removed?
After a tooth is removed, it leaves behind a socket in
the bone that was once occupied by the roots. This socket very soon gets
filled with blood. The blood in the extraction socket forms a clot. In a
few weeks time the clot slowly reorganizes into bone and fills the socket.
Thus the empty space in the bone left after the extraction of the tooth
heals completely by formation of new bone and the gum completely cowers
the area. This process may take a few months to complete.
Why is the wisdom tooth removed so often?
The wisdom teeth are the third molars, which are the last
teeth in the dental arch. The teeth usually erupt between 18 and 25 years
of age. In many individuals, the wisdom teeth remain in the bone as they
may not have adequate space in the dental arch to emerge out. This condition
is called impaction. In addition the third molar may erupt in abnormal inclination
thus affecting the health of the adjacent teeth. So the wisdom teeth need
to be removed often.
Why is it difficult to remove the wisdom tooth?
The wisdom teeth are often inside the bone and therefore
cannot be removed easily by using the forceps. In addition their position
and angulation may be abnormal. They often require surgical extraction by
cutting open the overlying gums and cutting the bone around the teeth.
Why does a swelling appear after extraction?
Some extractions are followed by appearance of swelling.
This is nothing to worry about, as it is a part of the normal healing process.
In reaction to the extraction, the tissues show an inflammatory reaction
to heal the wound created by the removal of the tooth. Swelling is a part
of the normal inflammatory process. However the dentist may advice you to
have cold fomentation over the area to reduce the swelling.
What is dry socket?
Dry socket is a condition characterized by onset of pain
and foul odor a few days after the extraction. This occurs due to lysis
or dislodgment of the clot that forms after the extraction leaving behind
the bony socket that is very sensitive and tender. The socket may also get
infected. This is one of the rare complications of extraction.
Why does the tooth break sometimes
during the extraction?
Teeth are embedded in bone. The principal behind extraction
is that the tooth is held by forceps and rocked from side to side to allow
the bony socket to expand. In patients who are aged, the bone is very hard
and mature and does not easily expand. In addition the teeth also become
brittle with age or may have been weakened due to dental decay. The two
factors, namely weakened teeth and brittle bone may result in breaking of
the tooth during extraction. The small piece of tooth left behind can be
removed by appropriate root forceps or may require surgical opening of the
gums and cutting of the bone to remove the broken fragment.
Should the gums be cut while
extracting some teeth?
Those teeth that cannot be gripped by a forceps or are
embedded inside the bone may require cutting of the gums and the overlying
bone to remove the teeth. This is called surgical method of extraction.