Tooth extraction complications: Tooth Chips and Bone Sequestra.
It's not uncommon that after having a tooth extracted (especially after a relatively more difficult or "surgical" extraction), a person will notice that one or more small, hard fragments have worked their way to the surface of their extraction site.
The type of scenario we're describing is this:
The healing of the area where a tooth has been pulled is progressing normally and uneventfully. Then one day, out of the blue, the person's tongue discovers that the edge of small hard object can now be felt poking through the surface of their gum tissue.
Causes and solutions.
This page describes the most common sources and causes for these types of objects. It also discusses how this type of condition might be addressed, either on your own (DIY tooth-chip removal), or, for larger pieces or more complicated situations, with treatment provided by your dentist.
What kind of hard fragments come out of extraction sites?
The type of hard bits and pieces that come to the surface of a healing tooth extraction site are:
- Remnants of the extracted tooth or its dental restoration. - In cases where the tooth broke apart or splintered during the extraction process.
- Bone tissue. - Damaged or compromised, now dead or dying, bone tissue. These types of fragments are called "sequestrum" (singular) or "sequestra" (plural).
When can you expect a fragment to appear?
Bone sequestra or tooth fragments can come to the surface of an extraction site at any time. In most cases, however, they will appear, and then be uneventfully shed, within the first few weeks after the tooth has been removed.
It's possible that some tooth fragments, especially root tips, will prove to be an exception to the above general rule. These pieces may not surface for months, and conceivably even years (if at all), after a person's surgery.
Having a tooth fragment or bone sequestrum come to the surface of an extraction site is more likely to occur in those cases where the associated oral surgery has been relatively difficult or traumatic.