An extraction means to have a tooth removed, usually because of disease, trauma or crowding. If you need an extraction, your dentist will first numb the area to lessen any discomfort. Dentists and oral surgeons (dentists with special training to perform surgery) perform tooth extractions. Before removing the tooth, your dentist will give you an injection of a local anaesthetic (or pain medicine) to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. If you are having more than one tooth extracted or a tooth is impacted, your dentist may use a general anaesthetic, this will prevent pain throughout your body and make you sleep through the procedure. After the extraction, your dentist will advise you of what post extraction regimen to follow. In most cases a small amount of bleeding is normal. Your mouth will slowly fill in the bone where the tooth root was through the formation of a blood clot. Once the tooth has been extracted, a blood clot usually forms in the socket. The dentist will pack a gauze pad into the socket and get you to bite down on it to help stop the bleeding. Sometimes the dentist will place a few stitches -- usually self-dissolving -- to close the gum edges over the extraction site. There can be situations where some aspect of a tooth, such as its positioning, shape, brittleness or deteriorated state complicates its removal. If so, a "surgical" extraction will be required.
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