The thought of undergoing a dental procedure incites fear in many people, beginning from kids to the elderly lot. However, there are certain scenarios in which dental extraction is the best mode of treatment for the patient. Grossly destroyed, infected teeth that are beyond repair, excessively mobile teeth or space needed for realignment of teeth during orthodontic treatment necessitate the removal of the teeth by surgical or non-surgical means.
As a patient who is about to undergo such a procedure, you must know all about the common and uncommon side effects of dental extraction. Let’s take a look at all of them.
Dental Extraction Side Effects
Pain and Discomfort Associated with Dental Extraction
These two changes are inevitable and take a few days to disappear completely. The severity of pain after the successful completion of the process rely on a few deciding factors such as the type of extraction performed and the amount of trauma suffered by the adjacent tooth and tissue structure. The first sign of oral pain will be felt as soon as the numbing effect of the anesthesia begins to wear off.
This immediate side effect is described as a sharp and intense pain, by almost all the patients but is easy to control by taking strong and relatively quick acting pain relievers prescribed by the dentist. The sensation of pain experienced during the first twelve hours post extraction is more troublesome than later on.
Skin Discolouration or Bruising
This is a common side effect seen after the completion of tooth removal, especially in relation to upper and lower wisdom teeth. The intensity of skin discolouration seen is more in patients prone to bruising. Elderly patients or those on medications such as that of steroid or aspirin have a tendency to bruise more quickly. However, this is a short term side effect that resolves within a few weeks time.
Be Prepared for Post Extraction Facial Swelling
The human body induces a normal reaction during and after the extraction process. It is, however, nothing to worry about as it only indicates that the normal healing process of the socket has begun. The extent and duration for which the swelling remains varies in accordance with not just the type of dental extraction carried out, but also from one individual to the other.
Mild, moderate or even severe swelling can occur depending on the degree of trauma borne by the tissues while the extraction was going on. Carelessness of the dental practitioner can lead to unnecessary lacerations or more than the required amount of flap retraction, which in turn, induces greater swelling than normally expected.
The surgical method of pulling out impacted or ankylosed teeth (root fused to the surrounding bone) is bound to induce longer lasting swelling that takes more time to heal as compared to the swelling that results from a closed or simple extraction. You must not be alarmed in case the swelling increases in the post extraction phase.
Maximum degree of swelling can take place up to 2 days after the procedure. It does take a full week or so to completely subside. Persistence of swelling or initiation of swelling in the area (accompanied by redness and elevated temperature) several days after the surgery can be indicative of infection.
Restricted Mouth Opening
Both trans alveolar (surgical), as well as intralveolar extraction, can leave the muscles of the jaw as well as the joints quite sore.
The muscle spasm and stiffness thus limits the extent of mouth opening, which makes eating, plus maintenance of oral hygiene comparatively difficult. Repeated application of heat 24 hours after the extraction process can rectify the problem easily.
This is a side effect that rarely takes place owing to pre and post administration of proper antibiotics by the dentist. However, there are still cases in which patients who have not been given antibiotics experience slight fever, continued pain and bleeding from the extraction site owing to bacterial infection.
This is a serious post operative side effect which is known by other terms such as Alveolar osteitis and Alveolitis sicca dolorosa. It almost always initiates two to five days after the removal of the offending tooth (mostly in relation to lower third molars). The blood clot that forms after the extraction must not be disrupted or dislodged from its site.
This invariably occurs when the patient sometimes fails to follow the instructions given by the dentist and engages in either strenuous activities, consumes carbonated, caffeine containing drinks, alcohol or any form of tobacco. Even smoking too early can prematurely displace the clot resulting in necrosis of the exposed bone.
The scarce blood circulation in the empty socket fails to keep the sudden onset of sharp pain away. Besides pain, a foul smell emanates from the affected socket. Irrigation of the area and packing of medicated gauze in the socket brings great respite. Pain medications and periodic re-dressing of the dry socket heals the condition in seven to ten days.
Maxillary Sinus Exposure
The roots of maxillary premolars and bulky molar teeth share close proximity with the maxillary sinus. While extracting such teeth, there is a slight possibility that the thin wall of bone that spans the area between the roots and the sinus gets separated along with the tooth during extraction.
This results in an open tract between the sinus and oral cavity. However, if it is only the membrane lining the cavity that gets perforated, it leads to a ‘sinus communication’. In case the sinus perforation is small in extent, it may only lead to nose bleed.
The two nerves that are susceptible to injury during the dental procedure include the Inferior alveolar nerve and the Lingual nerve. Damage to either of the two nerves can occur whilst elevating the tooth from the socket or due to the inadvertent positioning and use of the surgical drill.
This has an impact on the ability of the nerves to provide oral sensation. If the injury is a small one, the altered or numbing sensation in the lower lip, chin or tongue is restored soon enough. The side effect is mostly seen after the extraction of lower teeth.
This is a rare yet unfortunate side effect. In cases where the bone that surrounds the tooth to be removed is more fragile tha normally seen, the jaw is more prone to fracture. Too much force application or patients of more age are the few reasons leading to fracture.