From anesthesia to post-surgery recovery time, a surgical approach to treatment unleashes questions and concerns. Surgical extraction of supernumerary teeth is no exception. The procedure can be confusing and intimidating for a patient, who usually discusses surgical options with a dentist or oral surgeon.
According to the Family Dental Health Guide of Mount Sinai Medical Center, supernumerary teeth are “extra teeth, which exceed the normal number of teeth,” which “occur most often alongside permanent teeth.” The most common are the “maidens” a small incisor that is formed between the two upper central incisors.
The human teeth consist of two groups of teeth. The temporary denture, also known as “baby teeth,” consists of 20 teeth that begin to grow during childhood. The change of this dentition occurs during early childhood, between three to eight years. The permanent denture, or “adult teeth,” consists of 82 teeth.
Dentists diagnose supernumerary teeth in several different ways, the first is the rash. During the evaluation, the dentist will examine the teeth and the tissues that surround them.
If the teeth have not erupted, the dentist will order a panoramic radiograph. This will show all the teeth, from the front. Dentists commonly use these x-rays for maxillofacial and orthodontic surgeries. Panoramic radiographs show the alignment of the teeth in the jaw, the density of the bone of the teeth and the structures that surround them, the cavities of the sinuses and the ocular structures and of the nose.
The term “extraction”, as defined by the Bantam Medical Dictionary, is “the surgical removal of a part of the body.” A dental professional will extract the teeth by applying extraction forceps to the crown or root of the tooth to dislocate it from its socket. When this is not possible because the tooth or root is deeply buried, the removal of the bone may involve removing the bone and dividing the tooth.
Simple extractions are considered routine or uncomplicated. These extractions do not require the use of dental hand tools, nor do they require administering general anesthesia to the patient.
A surgical extraction procedure removes the third molars. These extractions, which often involve the use of drills and general anesthesia, are common in complicated dental cases. Supernumerary teeth often require surgical removal to remove them.
Certain cases can be presented as a simple extraction, and become a surgical extraction during the procedure. This is often due to a complication that has arisen during the initial extraction process. When a supernumerary tooth is removed, the most crucial evidence of a surgical extraction is the location of the tooth. The supernumerary teeth that are inside the palate, or in similar structures in bone density, are complex extractions. These conditions may require the patient to see a specialist.
The dentist will schedule an appointment one week after surgery to check for bone density and healing, answer questions, remove stitches if necessary, and reassess any concerns. Before dismissing the patient, the dentist will give some postoperative instructions. The healing time usually lasts about two weeks.