What Are The Possible Complications Of Tooth Extraction?

Posted on Posted in Oral Surgery

What is tooth extraction?

Tooth extraction (also known as exodontia) is defined as the planned removal of a tooth from its dental socket in the jaw bone. Tooth extraction is usually done by using dental instruments such as dental forceps and dental elevators. Tooth extraction is done under local anaesthesia, thus, the process of extracting a tooth is painless under proper local anaesthesia.

Nowadays, tooth extraction is considered as a common dental procedure with minimal risk of complications. Even though most dental extractions proceed without any complication, some might occur. Fortunately, most professional dentists are well trained enough to manage the all the possible complications with ease.

What Are The Possible Complications Of Tooth Extraction?

The possible complications of tooth extraction can be broadly classified as intra-operative complications (complications that might occur during the process of tooth extraction) and post-operative complications (complications that might occur after the tooth extraction process).

Intra-Operative Complications Of Tooth Extraction:

  1. Fail to control the pain during tooth extraction due to failure in securing local anaesthesia.
  2. Complications with the tooth that is being extracted:
    • Fracture of the tooth that is being extracted.
    • Displacement of the tooth into the tissue such as maxillary sinus and oesophagus.
  3. Injuries to bony structures:
    • Fracture of jaw bone (maxillary or mandibular bone).
    • Fracture of alveolus.
  4. Injuries to adjacent structures:
    • Damage to adjacent nerves.
    • Damage to temporo-mandibular joint such as joint dislocation.
  5. Injuries to the surrounding soft tissue:
    • Puncture of soft tissue.
    • Abrasion or stretch injury of soft tissue.
  6. Injuries to the teeth adjacent to the tooth being extracted.
    • Extracting the wrong tooth.
    • Fracture of the dental filling (restoration) of the adjacent tooth.
    • Loosening of the adjacent tooth
  7. Prolonged bleeding.

Post-Operative Complications Of Tooth Extraction:

  1. Immediate post-operative complications:
  2. Late post-operative complications:
  3. Delayed post-operative complications:
    • Osteoradionecrosis
    • Osteomyelitis

Most of the complications stated above are preventable. The risk for a complication to happen after a tooth extraction is considered very minimal nowadays. Even if complication happens, professional dentists are well-trained to manage the complications in a proper way.

How To Prevent The Complications Of Tooth Extraction?

Prevention is always better than cure. Some of the common ways to prevent the complications of tooth extraction are discussed below:

  1. Careful planning of dental treatment. Always consult your dentist to determine the most suitable treatment of choice.
  2. Find a competent dentist.
  3. Provide proper medical and dental history to the dentist before any treatment.
  4. Provide pre-operative dental radiograph to the dentist. This helps the dentist in planning a proper dental treatment.
  5. Follow all the post-operative care/instructions given by the dentist after tooth extraction.

Article written by,

Dr. Wong Kee Cheong (Tommy)
Dental Surgeon

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