As an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Rocky Cullens has performed numerous tooth extractions. Dr. Rocky Cullens has also taught this technique through the Oklahoma Dental Foundation.
When a tooth is damaged beyond repair, often the safest thing to do is to remove it from the mouth entirely. The process begins with the numbing of the tooth and surrounding structures via an anesthetic injection. The dentist or oral surgeon can then begin to loosen the tooth by widening the socket that holds it in the jaw.
Because the bone surrounding a tooth is fairly soft, the surgeon can typically expand the socket by rocking the tooth from side to side. This compresses the bone on either side and, ultimately, creates an opening wide enough that the surgeon can release the tooth. He or she may use a lever or a forceps to lift the tooth out and reveal the empty socket.
The surgeon may need to control bleeding with stitching or clotting agents. For some patients, however, folded gauze and pressure from a firm bite proves sufficient. The patient then goes home to recover with painkillers, cold packs, and rest.