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Title: Extraction of the Teeth
Author: Colyer, J. F.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Extraction of the Teeth" ***

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                       EXTRACTION OF THE TEETH.

                        EXTRACTION OF THE TEETH


                J. F. COLYER, L.R.C.P., M.R.C.S. L.D.S.

_Dental Surgeon and Lecturer on Dental Surgery to Charing Cross Hospital:
      Assistant Dental Surgeon to the Dental Hospital of London_

                     CLAUDIUS ASH & SONS, LIMITED,
           5, 6, 7, 8 AND 9, BROAD STREET, GOLDEN SQUARE, W.



CHAPTER I.                                                          PAGE



THE EXTRACTION OF INDIVIDUAL TEETH                                    19


THE EXTRACTION OF MISPLACED TEETH                                     46





INDEX                                                                 96



The General Principles of Extraction of the Teeth.

As an operation, extraction of teeth is fortunately becoming more rare,
but even now large numbers are needlessly sacrificed, in many cases
owing to ignorance on the part of the patient of the value of the teeth,
at times to lack of knowledge on the part of both operator and patient
of the modern methods of conservative dentistry. With the assistance of
antiseptics in the treatment of root-canals, and the increase in
knowledge of the methods of filling and crowning teeth, it is now
possible to retain many which would in former days have been
extracted--indeed it may be said with truth that all teeth and many
roots are capable of being saved and rendered useful, with the exception

(1) Those teeth whose roots are much shortened by absorption.

(2) Those teeth from which the alveolar process has disappeared to such
an extent as to leave them quite loose; and

(3) Those teeth attacked with chronic periodontitis, which, in spite of
treatment, tends to become worse.

Special circumstances naturally alter cases; for instance, with patients
the subjects of nervous prostration, or feeble in health, a lengthy
operation is often contra-indicated, and under such conditions
extraction may be preferable to the lengthy and tedious processes of
conservative treatment. Another indication for extraction is in cases of
teeth setting up or aggravating ulceration of the tongue, lips, or other
soft parts of the mouth. Teeth fractured in a longitudinal direction
should generally be removed, and the same rule applies to those which
are so misplaced as to be incapable of being brought into the normal
arch. In crowded conditions of the teeth extraction is often called for,
and under such circumstances is really conservative treatment.

If extraction be determined upon, _a careful examination of the tooth_
to be removed should be made. This will allow some idea to be formed of
the amount of sound tissue present, and also of the force which will be
necessary for the dislodgment of the tooth. In the case of roots, the
edges must be defined, and for this purpose a blunt probe, similar in
pattern to that shown in fig. 1 will be found useful.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.]

=Instruments.=--The instruments in general use for the removal of teeth
are forceps and elevators. _The Forceps_ is an amplified pair of pincers
or pliers. It is made up of three parts, namely, the blades or portions
beyond the joint which are applied to the tooth, the joint itself, and
the handles. Forceps should be made of fine steel, should be light and
yet strong enough to withstand without bending any strain that may be
put upon them.[1] The blades should be shaped to fit the tooth they are
intended to remove, and they should be clear of the crown when applied.
On longitudinal section a blade should present a thin wedge-shaped
appearance. Two kinds of joints are met with. In the first variety one
half of the forceps passes through a slot in the other, the two being
held together by a rivet passing through the centre (fig. 2). In the
second variety (fig. 3) the two halves are held together side by side by
a screw or pin which takes the entire strain. Most forceps of English
manufacture are made on the latter plan, which has the advantage of
permitting the instrument to be easily cleaned; it also allows a slight
lateral movement of the two halves--a point of some practical
importance. It is urged against this style of joint that it is weak; in
practice, however, this is not found to be the case.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.]

[Illustration: FIG. 3.]

The handles should be of a size and shape to lie comfortably in the palm
of the hand, and should be in such relation to the blades that when the
latter are applied in the direction of the long axis of the tooth, the
handles clear the lips.

As a general rule, in forceps designed for the removal of the anterior
teeth in the maxilla, the blades and handles are in the same line (fig.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.]

[Illustration: FIG. 5.]

while for the upper back teeth the handles form a curve of greater or
less extent with the blades (fig. 5). In forceps for the lower teeth the
blades are bent down from the handles to an angle of nearly ninety
degrees. In one class, namely, the hawk’s-bill, when the blades are
applied to the tooth the handles are at right angles to the line of the
arch (fig. 6), while in other classes the handles are in line with the
arch (fig. 7).

[Illustration: FIG. 6.]

[Illustration: FIG. 7.]

The manner of holding forceps is shown in figs. 8, 9, 10. The handles
should rest comfortably in the palmar surface of the hand, and in such a
manner that the end of one handle rests between the thenar and
hypothenar eminences--a portion of the hand where force can be applied
with advantage.

The thumb placed between the handles acts as a regulator to control the
amount of pressure of the blades upon the tooth. As a precaution it is
well to have the ball of the thumb well between the handles, so that the
pressure is counteracted not only by the soft tissues, but also by the
terminal bony phalanx of the thumb. If this precaution be not observed,
any sudden crushing of the tooth may be accompanied by a severe and very
painful contusion of the operator’s thumb.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.

Mode of holding forceps for the removal of upper teeth.]

_The Elevator_ consists of two parts--the handle and the blade. The
former, usually made of wood or ivory, is about four inches in length
and of a shape suitable to allow a firm grip being obtained of it by the
hand. The blade is made of fine steel, and is about two inches long.
Elevators are of two varieties, straight and curved. In the first form
the blade is thin, about one-fifth of an inch in breadth, one surface
being made convex and the other flat. The point of the blade may be
rounded as shown in fig. 11, or spear-shaped, as shown in fig. 12.

[Illustration: FIG. 9.

Mode of holding lower “hawk’s bill” pattern forceps.]

[Illustration: FIG. 10.

Mode of holding forceps of pattern shown in fig. 30.]

In the curved variety, the terminal half inch of the steel portion of
the instrument is bent at an angle with the shaft of the instrument
(fig. 49). The edge of the blade of an elevator should always be kept

The method of holding an elevator is shown in fig. 13. The handle should
rest comfortably in the palm of the hand, the first finger lying along
the blade and being brought near the point so as to prevent the
instrument slipping. When using the elevator for the removal of teeth on
the right side of the mandible, the finger should lie along the curved
side of the blade, and on the flat side when extracting teeth on the
left side.

[Illustration: FIG. 11.]

_The Screw_ (fig. 14) is an instrument which on rare occasions is useful
for the removal of deep seated roots.

[Illustration: FIG. 12.]

After being used, instruments of every kind should be freed from all
foreign matter and then carefully sterilised.

The next point which demands attention is the =position of the operator
and patient=. The chair should be placed before a good light, and if a
proper dental chair is not to hand an ordinary arm chair may be
utilised; failing this, two ordinary chairs may be placed back to back,
on one of which the left leg of the operator should be raised to form a
rest for the patient’s head. The patient should be placed in such an
unconstrained position as will allow the operator to exert all necessary
movements with freedom.

[Illustration: FIG. 13.]

[Illustration: FIG. 14.]

The operator should place himself so as to use his force to the greatest
advantage. His left arm may be utilised, if necessary, for steadying the
movements of the patient’s head, while the fingers of the left hand can
be employed--

(1) To keep the cheek and other soft parts away so as to obtain a clear
view of the tooth to be extracted and its immediate neighbours;

(2) To support the mandible;

(3) To grasp the alveolus and so allow some idea to be gained of the
effect of the force employed.

The special positions for the removal of different teeth will be
described in chapter ii.

It may be advantageous, before describing the steps of the operation of
extraction, to refer briefly to a few =points in the anatomy of the teeth
and jaws= which have a direct bearing upon the manner of carrying it out.

If the teeth be examined it will be noticed that they are capable of
division into--

(1) Teeth with single, rounded tapering roots;

(2) Teeth with single roots more or less irregularly flattened or

(3) Teeth with multiple roots.

Under (1) are included the upper incisors (temporary and permanent) and
the lower bicuspids; (2) the lower incisors and canines (temporary and
permanent), and also the upper canines and bicuspids; (3) the upper and
lower molars (temporary and permanent) and frequently the first upper

The shape of the roots, as we shall subsequently find, has an important
bearing upon the manner in which force is to be applied when severing
them from their attachments.

A correct acquaintance with the disposition of the alveoli of the teeth
is of importance for skilful and successful operating. Fig. 15 gives a
general idea of the appearance of the alveoli, but it is needless to say
that a full knowledge can only be really obtained by a careful study of
the bones themselves; by this means, too, some idea of the strength of
different portions of the alveolar borders can be obtained--a matter of
some moment when applying force in the process of removing a tooth from
its socket. The points to be specially noted in the maxilla are the
thinness of the outer alveolar wall as compared with the inner, the
prominence of the canine socket, and the cancellous character of the
bone in the region of the third molar. In the mandible the outer
alveolar border will be seen to be thinner than the inner, with the
exception of that portion in the region of the

[Illustration: FIG. 15.

From the “American System of Dentistry.”]

third, and often of the second molar; another fact worthy of attention
is that at the posterior portion of the socket of the third molar the
bone is moderately dense.

=When performed with forceps the operation of tooth extraction may be
divided into three stages:--=

(1) Adaptation of the forceps to the tooth.

(2) Destruction of its membranous connections with, and dilatation of,
the socket.

(3) Removal of the tooth from the socket.

In the initial stage the _first step_ is the application of the blades,
and, in this connection, care must be taken to see that the points pass
between the gum and the tooth, and also that they are applied parallel
with the long axis of the root. It is, as a rule, best first to apply
the blade on the side of the tooth most obscured from view, and then
lightly to close the other upon the opposite side. The blades should
then be forcibly pressed upwards or downwards, as the case may be, in
the direction of the apex of the root; a slight rotary or wriggling
motion will often be found of assistance in the process. This “pressing”
movement should be continued until a firm hold of the root has been
obtained--a point of great importance, as upon it the successful removal
of the tooth in a large measure depends. The handles should next be
firmly closed, so as to give the blades a good grip, and the amount of
pressure applied should be such, that when movement has commenced the
blades do not ride upon the surface of the root. The amount of pressure
to be applied must naturally vary according to the character of the
tooth to be removed, and the resistance offered by the alveolar process.
The thumb placed between the handles of the forceps, as previously
pointed out, should counteract the pressure applied to the root and
prevent crushing, which, should it occur, may make the subsequent
removal very difficult.

The _second stage_--the destruction of the membranous attachments and
dilatation of the socket--is accomplished by employing force in either a
rotary or a lateral direction. The movement to be employed depends upon
the form of the root or roots to be removed and the resisting strength
of the surrounding hard structures, and at this point it need only be
remarked that rotary motion is alone admissible in the case of teeth
possessing a single conical root.

The _final stage_ is carried out by exerting extractive force in the
direction of the long axis of the tooth, and also in that of least
resistance; the latter is determined by a knowledge of the anatomy of
the alveolar border, and by the sensation conveyed to the hand through
the forceps.

=The removal of a tooth with a straight elevator= is accomplished in the
following manner. The blade, with the flattened surface towards the
tooth to be removed, is inserted between the root and the alveolus, the
instrument being kept as far as possible parallel with the anterior
surface of the crown. The blade is then forced downwards so as to reach
the root at as low a point as possible; the handle of the elevator is
then rotated away from the direction in which the tooth is to be
removed. This has the effect of both raising the tooth in its socket and
displacing it in the required direction. One such movement of the
instrument rarely suffices for the removal of a tooth, a second, and
sometimes a third grip, each time nearer to the apex of the root, having
to be obtained.

The method of using a curved elevator will be described in dealing with
the removal of the roots of lower molar teeth.

=The wound resulting from the removal of a tooth= is a lacerated one, and
heals by “granulation.” The socket immediately after the operation
becomes filled with coagulated blood, which is eventually replaced by
granulation tissue, followed at a later period by the formation of loose
cancellous bone.

A varying amount of absorption of the alveolar border always follows the
removal of a tooth, the continuity in the surface of the gum being
restored by ordinary cicatricial fibrous tissue.

The wound is best treated by keeping the parts carefully cleansed as far
as possible from all foreign matter, and for this purpose an antiseptic
mouth-wash[3] should be used several times a day. From the wound
resulting from the extraction of an upper tooth the discharge drains
away in a natural manner owing to the orifice being the most dependent
part. From the wound caused by the removal of a lower tooth such is not
the case, and should suppuration take place the socket must be
frequently syringed with some antiseptic solution, and if necessary,

=The Extraction of the Temporary Teeth.=--Although the actual details of
the extraction of the temporary teeth do not differ from those of the
permanent teeth, there are, nevertheless, one or two points to which
attention may with advantage be directed. First and foremost, a child
should not be deceived, and if it is necessary to extract a tooth, the
child should be told and not taken unawares. When, too, a child resists
having a tooth removed, the operation must not be forcibly carried out,
for by a little patience and moral suasion on the part of the operator,
the better side of a child’s nature can generally be gained. It should
also be remembered that anæsthetics are quite as needful for the
extraction of the temporary as the permanent teeth, the pain to be borne
by a child being quite as great as that to be endured by an adult.


The Extraction of Individual Teeth.

(1)=UPPER TEETH.=--For the removal of teeth in the maxilla the patient
should be placed at such a level that the arm of the operator can, if
necessary, embrace the head of the patient with comfort. The operator
should stand at the right side of the patient, and slightly in front,
the first finger and thumb being placed on either side of the alveolus
(fig. 16). In the event of the patient becoming restless, the arm should
be shifted so as to encircle the head and hold it firmly.

(_a_) =Upper Incisors.=--The roots of both the upper central and lateral
incisors are usually cone shaped, the anterior surface being the arc of
a greater circle than that of the posterior. Forceps for the removal of
these teeth ought therefore to have the blades made in a corresponding
manner (see fig. 17). The lateral incisor is smaller than the central,
and has at times a root somewhat flattened. In removing upper incisors
the posterior blade is applied first, care being taken to

[Illustration: FIG. 16.]

see that the edge of the instrument passes between the gum and the
tooth. To dislodge these teeth a firm inward movement should be made in
a direction towards the palate, this movement being followed by one in
an outward direction. If this fails to dislodge the tooth from its
attachments, a firm rotary motion, first to the right and then to the
left, may be tried (the amount of rotation necessary being only about an
eighth of the circle represented by the circumference of the root).
Rotation is generally recommended in the first instance for the
extraction of these teeth, but the inward movement is, I think, best,
the teeth yielding more readily and with less laceration of the soft

The extraction of the roots of these teeth does not as a rule present
much difficulty. When moderately sound the instrument shown in fig. 17
may be used, but in those instances where the root is much decayed, and
lies well below the gum margin, a rather finer pair will be found more
serviceable. The manner of removal is similar to that used when the
crown is standing.

[Illustration: FIG. 17.]

(_b_) =Upper Canines.=--These teeth, like the incisors, are single rooted,
but the difference between the curve of the anterior and posterior
surfaces is greater. The roots too are much longer, more firmly
implanted, and hence require more force in their removal. Forceps
similar in pattern to those used for incisors may be used, the severance
of the tooth from its attachments being brought about by force applied
in an inward, followed by an outward, direction. The root being more or
less three sided, rotation cannot well be adopted.

The roots of canine teeth are to be removed in the same manner as that
adopted for the whole tooth.

(_c_) =Upper Bicuspids.=--The first bicuspid has usually one root
flattened and more or less longitudinally grooved on its mesial and
distal surfaces. If this grooving is much marked, it results in a
greater or less division of the root into two slender terminations.
Whether such bifurcation exists or not can seldom be determined before
operation and would not modify the method adopted, but the tendency to
this variation should be borne in mind and the lateral movement be very
gently applied. The internal and external surfaces of the root are for
all practical purposes of equal curvature.

The second bicuspid has usually only one root, which is not so flattened
in the antero-posterior diameter as the first. There is also not the
same tendency to grooving or bifurcation of the root as there is in the
first bicuspid.

The blades of forceps for the bicuspids should be equal segments of the
same circle; they should also be bent at an angle with the handles, so
that the latter may clear the lower lip. The forceps shown in fig. 18 is
a useful pattern. In removing an upper bicuspid, the inner blade of the
forceps should be applied first. For severing the tooth from its
attachments a slight inward movement should first be made, followed by
an outward one. If this fails to cause the socket to yield, the inward
movement may again be made, followed by an outward one, and repeated if
necessary. The removal of the tooth from its socket is to be carried out
by force applied in a downward and outward direction. It is well to
remember that the force applied to the inward should always be slight
compared to that used in the outward direction. The removal of bicuspid
roots is carried out in a manner similar to that for the whole tooth.

[Illustration: FIG. 18.]

(_d_) =Upper Molars.=--The first upper molar has three roots, one internal
towards the palate (palatine), and two external (buccal); of the three
the palatine is the largest, sub-cylindrical in form, and often curved.
The two buccal roots are placed in an anterior and posterior position,
the latter being in a plane internal to the anterior one; both these
roots are somewhat flattened, and of the two the anterior is the larger.
The roots of the second molar are similar in shape to the first, but are
usually smaller. The third molar, when normal, has three roots, but very
frequently these are all fused together so as to form an abrupt tapering
cone, the point of which is often curved.

[Illustration: FIG. 19.]

Owing to the disposition of the roots different forceps will be required
for the removal of upper molars on the right and left side. Of the
blades, the outer or buccal should possess two grooves, the anterior
being the broader and placed in a more external plane. This blade should
also have a slight projection between the grooved surfaces to adapt
itself to the space between the buccal roots. The inner or palatal blade
should possess only one groove. A well-made pair of upper molar forceps
should fit the neck of a first upper permanent molar accurately. The
blades should be bent at an angle with the handles, so that when in use
the latter may clear the lower lip (fig. 19). The palatine blade should
be applied first, and in bringing the outer blade into place the point
should be kept over the groove on the buccal side of the tooth, as this
groove is a guide to the space between the outer roots. To sever these
teeth from their attachments force must be applied first slightly
inwards and then outwards, the movements being repeated if necessary,
the removal of the tooth from the socket being carried out by exerting
force in a downward and outward direction. Too much outward movement
leads to undue bending or fracture of the external alveolar plate.

[Illustration: FIG. 20.]

In removing the third molars it is advisable not to have the patient’s
mouth opened to the fullest extent, as the tension of the tissues of the
cheek will thereby be lessened and a clearer view of the outer side of
the tooth thus gained. The application of the forceps is of the utmost
importance, as one is liable, unless care is taken, to include some of
the soft tissue between the blades and the tooth and so cause a painful
laceration. Force applied inwards and then outwards is generally
sufficient to loosen these teeth, their removal being carried out by a
downward and outward movement.

Forceps similar to those shown in fig. 19 may be used for the removal of
the third molars, but most operators use patterns the blades of which
are similar segments of the same circle (fig. 20).

[Illustration: FIG. 21.

  (_a_) Normal upper first permanent molar.
  (_b_) Oblique rooted upper first permanent molar.
  (_c_) Normal upper second permanent molar.
  (_d_) Oblique rooted second permanent molar.]

There is _an abnormality of the upper molars_ which may with advantage
be mentioned here. In this deformity the posterior buccal root is
situated in a plane much internal to the anterior--in other words, it is
an exaggeration of the normal arrangement. Such teeth have been termed
by Mr. Booth Pearsall “_oblique rooted_” (fig. 21). The abnormality is
met with most frequently in the third molar, sometimes in the second,
rarely in the first. The difficulty encountered in extracting these
teeth is that the outer blade of the forceps tends to slip round.
Oblique-rooted teeth can at times be diagnosed by noting an undue
prominence of the alveolus over the anterior buccal root, and are best
removed with forceps similar to that shown in fig. 20.

_In cases where a portion of the crown remains and the decay extends
well below the gum_ on either the palatal or buccal side, ordinary molar
forceps should be discarded and root forceps employed; useful patterns
are shown in figs. 18, 22 and 23. The removal of teeth in this condition
is carried out as follows, and for the sake of description it will be
supposed that the decay extends deeply on the palatine side. One blade
of the forceps should be first applied to the buccal side of the tooth
and to the root which is considered the stronger; the inner blade should
then be applied to the palatine root care being taken to insinuate it
between the alveolus and the root. The forceps should then be pushed
well upwards until a firm hold of the root is obtained. A firm inward
movement should then be made, as this will allow the inner blade to pass
still higher up the palatine fang and insure steadiness should the
blades tend to ride upon the surface of the root. An outward movement
should next be made, but to nothing like so great a degree as that used
in extracting molars with the whole of the crown standing. This inward
and outward movement is to be repeated until the tooth is freed, the
force being principally applied in the inward direction.

[Illustration: FIG. 22.]

[Illustration: FIG. 23.

For the removal of roots towards the back of the mouth.]

When the more extensive decay has taken place on the buccal side the
order of proceeding is slightly different. The first blade to be applied
should be the palatine, the outer blade being closed upon whichever of
the buccal roots is considered the stronger.

The extractive force should be applied first outwards and then inwards,
these movements being repeated if necessary, the principal force being
outwards, as the object in view is to prevent the instrument slipping
off the more decayed side.

_When a molar is so decayed that but little of the crown remains, but
all the roots are still united_, root forceps are indicated. In such a
case the inner blade is to be applied to the palatine root first, the
outer blade being closed upon the stronger of the buccal fangs. Inward
followed by outward movement should be employed, the point to bear in
mind being to use force towards the side of the tooth which is
considered the weaker. In the majority of such cases the three roots
come away together, but even if this does not happen, one or perhaps two
will be removed, the remainder being subsequently removed with but
little difficulty.

_In cases where the resistance presented by the roots is very great_ and
an unsuccessful attempt has been made with ordinary root forceps, an
instrument with a buccal blade similar to that shown in fig. 24 may be
used. The inner blade is first applied, the outer one being brought so
as to come, if possible, into the space between the buccal roots. A
firm hold of the roots having been gained, an attempt to extract should
be made by force applied in an inward and outward direction; this
failing, sufficient pressure should be put upon the handles to split the
roots asunder. The sharp outer blade of the forceps will then pass
between the divided buccal roots on to the palatine root, which can thus
readily be brought away. A pair of ordinary upper root forceps should be
employed for removing the buccal roots.

_If all the three roots of a molar are separate_, their extraction
presents but little difficulty, a slight rotary movement generally

In all cases where there is a fear of a molar fracturing, root in
preference to ordinary forceps should be used.

[Illustration: FIG. 24.]

(2) =LOWER TEETH.=--For the removal of lower teeth the patient should be
placed on a low level, the head being kept a little forward and the chin
depressed. The position of the operator will naturally differ with the
tooth to be removed

[Illustration: FIG. 25.]

and also with the instrument to be used. With teeth on the right side,
when hawk’s-bill pattern forceps or elevators are used, the operator
should stand behind and to the right of the patient, the left arm being
brought round the patient’s head. The thumb of the left hand should be
placed on the inner side and the first finger on the outer side of the
alveolus of the tooth to be removed, and the three remaining fingers
under and supporting the chin. In placing the fingers in the mouth,
care should be taken to keep the wrist well down so as not to impede the
entrance of light (fig. 25).

[Illustration: FIG. 26.]

When removing the anterior teeth or those on the left side of the mouth,
the operator should stand on the right side and slightly in front of the
patient. The left hand should be placed as follows: the second finger
on the lingual side, and the first on the labial side of the alveolus of
the tooth to be extracted, the thumb being placed under the chin (fig.

When employing forceps of the straight pattern shown in fig. 30, the
operator should stand as shown in fig. 26, but it will be found
difficult to place the fingers of the left hand on either side of the
alveolus, indeed they can only well be used for retracting the cheek and
supporting the jaw.

In removing teeth from the lower jaw, the operator should be careful, in
raising the tooth from the socket, to guard against a sudden separation
of the tooth from its attachments which might result in damage to the
upper teeth.

[Illustration: FIG. 27.]

(_a_) =Lower Incisors.=--These teeth each have a single root which is much
flattened laterally. For their removal, forceps similar to those shown
in fig. 27 should be used, the blades being equal segments of the same
circle. The lingual blade should be applied first, the loosening
movement being made by taking the tooth slightly inwards and then
outwards, the final extractive force being upwards and outwards.

The removal of lower incisor roots is carried out in a similar manner.

(_b_) =Lower Canines.=--The lower canines have normally one root, which is
flattened laterally. In comparison with the incisors, the root is
stronger and longer. The removal of a lower canine is carried out in a
manner similar to that employed for a lower incisor, but as the tooth
presents more resistance, a greater amount of force is usually required.

(_c_) =Lower Bicuspids.=--The lower bicuspids have normally one root which
is conical in shape. In the first bicuspid the conical shape of the root
is not so marked as in the second, the outer aspect being the arc of
rather a larger circle than the posterior. Forceps similar to those
shown in fig. 27 may be used, the blades for all practical purposes
being equal in size and shape. The lingual blade of the instrument
should be applied first, the severing of the tooth from its attachments
being carried out by a slight rotary movement around the long axis of
the tooth first in one direction and then in the other; should this not
succeed, a slight inward followed by an outward movement may be tried,
the tooth being raised from its socket by force applied in an upward and
slightly outward direction.

The roots of lower bicuspids are to be removed in a manner similar to
that required for the extraction of a whole tooth. When the root lies
much below the level of the gum the extraction is often troublesome
owing to the difficulty in gaining a hold with the blades of the
forceps; in such cases, if an attempt with forceps has failed, the
straight elevator may be employed.

[Illustration: FIG. 28.]

(_d_) =Lower Molars.=--Lower molars have two roots, placed anteriorly and
posteriorly. The roots are much flattened and have a tendency to curve
backwards, this being well marked in the second and especially so in the
third molar; a fusion of the two roots is at times met with in the
second and frequently in the third molar. A section of a lower molar at
the neck shows both the buccal and lingual aspects to be composed of two
segments of a circle touching each other at one extremity; the anterior
segment being slightly the larger (fig. 28). Each blade of the forceps
used for these teeth should possess two grooves,

[Illustration: FIG. 29.]

[Illustration: FIG. 30.]

separated by a projection which fits into the division between the
anterior and posterior roots; for all practical purposes the blades may
be made of the same size, so that one instrument will suffice for both
sides of the jaw. The instrument best adapted for the removal of these
teeth is shown in fig. 29, though some operators prefer the shape
illustrated in fig. 30. The advantages of the former over the latter
may be briefly summed up as follows:

(1) A clear view of the tooth and its surroundings can be obtained
during the whole period of removal.

(2) Force can be applied with greater advantage.

(3) The alveolus can be easily embraced by the fingers, or by the finger
and thumb of the left hand.

(4) In removing the tooth from the socket a slight backward movement can
be employed.

One disadvantage of shape fig. 29 is that it is difficult to employ much
inward movement, and therefore, for teeth lying inwards, namely, with
the crown directed towards the tongue, hawk’s-bill-shaped forceps cannot
easily be used.

Another disadvantage is that the extent of inward movement is limited by
the proximity of the upper teeth, and in case of trismus it is often
better to use straight forceps (fig. 30). In cases where there are also
much swelling and rigidity of the cheek the straight forceps cause less
inconvenience to the patient.

In removing lower molars with forceps, the inner blade should be first
applied and then the outer, care being taken to get the points of the
blades between the interspace of the roots. For severing these teeth
from their attachments, a slight inward movement should be first made,
followed by one well outwards, this inward and outward movement being
repeated if necessary. The removal of the tooth from its socket is
carried out by force used in an upward and outward direction. The upward
force exerted upon lower teeth should always be well under control, as
not infrequently the resistance is very suddenly overcome, and, if such
precaution is not taken, there is danger of striking the upper teeth
with considerable force.

[Illustration: FIG. 31.]

As previously pointed out, the roots of these teeth are at times curved
a little backwards so that it is often needful in removing the teeth
from their sockets to twist the forceps in a curved direction backwards.

In the removal of the second molar too much outward movement is not
permissible, as the outer alveolus is often very dense.

The third molar is best removed with a straight elevator. A glance at
the illustration of this tooth (fig. 31) will show that the roots have a
well-marked curve backwards, in addition to which the bone forming the
socket of this tooth is stronger than is the case with the anterior
molars. The removal of the third molar has therefore to be accomplished
by using force in a direction upwards and backwards, in other words, in
a curve similar to the arc of the circle formed by the roots. This
movement cannot well be carried out with forceps, but is easily
accomplished with the elevator as follows (it being assumed that the
second molar is in place):--Hold the elevator as shown in fig. 13, and
insert the blade between the anterior surface of the root and the
alveolus, keeping the flattened side of the instrument as far as
possible parallel with the root surface. Then force the blade downwards
in a direction towards the apex of the root; following this, rotate the
handle away from the direction in which the tooth is to be moved. This
has the effect of both raising the tooth in its socket and displacing it
backward. The edge of the elevator which is to be brought into contact
with the surface of the root should be sharp so as to cut somewhat into
the cementum. Should this prove insufficient the handle should again be
raised and the flattened surface of the instrument brought parallel with
the anterior surface of the root and the extractive movement repeated
until the tooth is completely raised from its socket.

In using the elevator, especial care must be taken to protect the tongue
with the fingers or thumb of the left hand, so as to prevent a slip,
which might result in puncture of the tongue, or of the operator’s

With the third lower molar there is a tendency for the gum to adhere
tenaciously to the posterior part of the neck of the tooth. When this
happens it is better to simply raise the tooth from its socket with the
elevator or forceps, as the case may be, and then cut the gum away with
a curved pair of scissors. By this method a severe laceration of the gum
may at times be avoided.

When the third molar is isolated owing to the absence of the second
molar, the elevator may still be employed for its removal, on the right
side the first finger, and on the left side the thumb of the left hand
being used as the fulcrum. In such cases, however, many operators
prefer to use ordinary lower molar forceps.

_The removal of lower molars when a portion of the crown is standing,
but the decay has progressed below the gum_ on either the buccal or the
lingual aspect, is carried out with root forceps of shape shown in fig.
27. A condition similar to this in upper molars and the method indicated
for their removal were referred to on page 27. The principles enumerated
there apply equally to the removal of lower molars, so that it will not
be necessary to repeat them. The main points to bear in mind are, to
apply the blades of the forceps to the stronger root, and to use the
principal force in the direction of the weaker wall.

_Where the roots of molars are still united_, root forceps should be
used, the blade being first applied to the lingual surface of the
stronger root. A firm hold having been obtained, the root may be removed
by employing force in a manner similar to that employed with ordinary
molar forceps. In this way both roots will usually come away together.
If, however, only one root is extracted, the remaining one can easily be
removed, either with the same forceps or a curved elevator. The curved
elevator (fig. 49) may be employed either by placing it against the
root, and so forcing it into the socket of the root already removed, or
by placing the blade in the socket of the extracted root, forcing the
point of the instrument through the intervening bone and then elevating
the remaining root.

_With roots of lower molars which present great resistance_, forceps
with cutting blades may be used (fig. 32). The blades are inserted on
the lingual and buccal aspects of the arch in such a manner that the
points pass into the space between the roots. The handles are then
closed and an attempt is made to remove the roots in the ordinary way,
but should this prove unsuccessful the handles must be forcibly closed,
so as to divide the roots which can then, as a rule, be removed with
ordinary root forceps.

The value of splitting roots in a case similar to that shown in fig. 33
is apparent, for, as will be seen, it allows each root to be removed in
the line of its inclination.

[Illustration: FIG. 32.]

_In those cases where the roots are separated_ their removal is carried
out with root forceps, an inward and outward movement being usually

The roots of third molars are best removed with a straight elevator.
The _modus operandi_ is similar to that used in extracting the whole

[Illustration: FIG. 33.

(_a_) Lower molar with divergent roots. (_b_) The dotted lines show the
direction in which the root can be removed if the tooth is divided as
suggested in the text.]

_At times the lower molar teeth are much tilted in such a way that the
crown surface stands towards the tongue._--Under such conditions their
removal is best carried out with instruments of the pattern shown in
fig. 30, since the handles of forceps of the hawk’s-bill pattern when
applied would come in contact with the upper teeth, and thus impede the
inward movement which is so necessary for the removal of teeth in this

=The Temporary Teeth.=--For the removal of upper incisors and canines, a
small pair of straight forceps of the pattern shown in fig. 34 should be
used. The first upper temporary molars are best removed with a pair of
forceps like fig. 35.

The lower incisors and canines require a small pair of hawk’s-bill
forceps similar to the shape shown in fig. 27. For the lower temporary
molars, a small pair of forceps similar to that illustrated in fig. 29
should be used.

[Illustration: FIG. 34.]

[Illustration: FIG. 35.]

In removing the temporary teeth, care must be taken not to drive the
forceps up too high, for fear of injuring the permanent teeth; this is
more especially to be noted in connection with the temporary molars, as
the roots of these teeth practically embrace the crowns of the
bicuspids. Generally speaking, if a temporary molar fractures in the
attempt to remove it, the portion of tooth remaining in the jaw should
be left alone unless it can be brought away quite easily.

[Illustration: FIG. 36.]

Roots in the condition shown in fig. 36 are best removed with an
elevator as follows: the thumb of the right hand being placed on an
adjacent tooth so as to gain a hold, the point of the elevator should be
placed below the end of the root and force applied. In a few cases it
may be necessary to cut the gum with a lancet before using the elevator.

Small pieces of the temporary teeth which persist and become wedged in
between the permanent teeth can be best removed with an excavator or a
similar suitable instrument.


The Extraction of Misplaced Teeth.

Nothing, perhaps, tests the skill of a good operator more than the
extraction of a misplaced or impacted tooth, and although it is
impossible to give anything like a complete list of the various
malpositions met with, those most commonly seen will be mentioned, and
the usual method for removing such teeth indicated.

[Illustration: FIG. 37.]

(_a_) =Upper Central Incisors.=--An irregularity of this tooth calling for
removal is shown in fig. 37.

The extraction is best carried out with an instrument similar to that
shown in fig. 38, the fine inner blade being applied on the palatal side
and the broad blade on the labial. Extractive force should be applied
principally in the outward direction, and if this is not sufficient,
slight rotary movement should be tried. In cases where there is less
room between the approximal teeth, the projecting tooth may be removed
with a pair of straight forceps (fig. 17), the blades being applied to
the mesial and distal aspects of the root. The blades should not be
driven very far up, and the loosening of the tooth should be
accomplished by slight rotary motion, in using which care should be
taken to avoid loosening the approximal teeth.

[Illustration: FIG. 38.]

(_b_) =Upper Lateral Incisors= lying internal to the arch, as shown in
fig. 39, can be removed with the forceps shown in fig. 38, by placing
the fine blade on the labial and the broad blade on the palatal side of
the tooth. Extractive movement should be made inwards, followed by very
slight outward movement; this failing, rotation should be tried, but as
pointed out on a previous page, this form of movement is not so suitable
for lateral incisors as for centrals.

[Illustration: FIG. 39.]

(_c_) =Upper Canines= placed high in the arch, as shown in fig. 40, may be
extracted with a straight pair of forceps (fig. 17), the blades being
placed on the mesial and labial aspects of the root. Extraction of such
teeth is very difficult. Slight but firm rotation may first be tried; if
this fails to loosen the tooth, slight lateral movement may be
attempted, the force being applied towards and then away from the median
line of the mouth.

[Illustration: FIG. 40.]

[Illustration: FIG. 41.]

(_d_) =Upper Bicuspids= misplaced, as shown in fig. 41, can be removed
with forceps, as shown in figs. 18 and 22, the blades being applied on
the anterior and posterior aspects of the tooth. Force should be applied
in a backward and forward direction, the movements being repeated and
persevered with until the tooth is loosened in its socket.

[Illustration: FIG. 42.]

[Illustration: FIG. 43.]

A bicuspid placed as shown in fig. 42 can be removed with forceps
similar in form to those depicted in figs. 18 and 22, with the outer
blade strong but narrow. The extractive movement should be made mainly
in an inward direction.

[Illustration: FIG. 44.]

(_e_) =Lower Central Incisors= placed similarly to that shown in fig. 43
may be removed with ordinary lower root forceps (hawk’s-bill pattern),
the blades being placed on the mesial and distal surfaces of the root,
and movement applied in a direction to and away from the median line of
the mouth. When the crowding is not so extreme as shown in fig. 44,
forceps of the hawk’s-bill pattern with a strong but narrow inner blade
should be used (fig. 45), and the principal extractive movement made in
an outward direction. For an incisor placed as shown in fig. 47, the
narrow blade should be the outer one (fig. 46), and the principal force
should be applied in an inward direction.

(_f_) =Lower Bicuspids= placed as in fig. 48 are

[Illustration: FIG. 45.]

[Illustration: FIG. 46.]

most difficult teeth to remove. One of the most useful instruments for
their extraction is a pair of upper root forceps (Read’s pattern, fig.
22), which should be held so that the curve of the blades is downwards.
The blades should grasp the root on its anterior and posterior surfaces.
Slight rotary movement may first be attempted, followed by lateral
motion. These movements may be persevered with until the tooth is found
to yield. Too much haste may lead to a fracture, which would be
extremely difficult to deal with.

[Illustration: FIG. 47.]

[Illustration: FIG. 48.]

In cases where the crowding is not so great, and the tooth is more in
the normal line of the arch, a forceps with a narrow outer blade will
suffice (fig. 46). Extractive force should be used principally towards
the median line of the mouth, and this may be combined with slight
rotary movement.

[Illustration: FIG. 49.]

(_g_) =Impacted Lower Third Molars= are amongst the most difficult teeth
to extract. Where the tooth is deep-seated, the gum should be pushed
aside by careful packing, and as clear a view of the tooth as is
possible obtained. For removing these teeth it is difficult to give any
rules, as each case must be treated on its own merits.

As useful an instrument as any for their removal is a curved elevator
(fig. 49), the blade of which can often be inserted under the crown, and
assuming that good leverage is thus obtained, the tooth can be prised
up. Sometimes the tooth is firmly embedded in the bone. In such cases a
clear view of the tooth may be obtained by gradually packing the soft
tissues apart, the periosteum covering the alveolus should then be
raised, and the bone surrounding the tooth cut away with suitable
instruments. The tooth, when freely exposed, should be removed with an
elevator or forceps.

The wound resulting must be carefully packed and treated as described on
page 85.


The Use of Anæsthetics during Extraction of the Teeth.

The anæsthetics used during the extraction of teeth may be divided into
two classes, viz.:--general and local. It is not proposed to make any
allusion to the methods of administering general anæsthetics, as they
hardly fall within the scope of this volume. There are, however, a few
points which the operator should bear in mind when employing them and
which may with advantage be briefly dwelt upon, but before considering
these, a word or two may not be out of place with regard to the choice
of the anæsthetic. In dental practice three agents are generally used,
nitrous oxide alone or in combination with air or oxygen, ether and

In the very large majority of dental operations nitrous oxide is to be
preferred to ether and chloroform, and possesses the great advantage
over them of being practically safe. In addition, the administration of
nitrous oxide occupies a shorter period, and the recovery is rapid and
complete. Within the last few years, combinations of nitrous oxide with
oxygen and with air have been introduced by Dr. Hewitt and Mr. Rowell
respectively, and both combinations possess advantages over nitrous
oxide used alone.

_The advantages of nitrous oxide and oxygen over nitrous oxide alone

(1) The anæsthesia is quieter.

(2) The mucous membranes of the mouth do not swell to the same extent,
and the operator therefore gains a clearer view of the tooth.

(3) The period of anæsthesia is lengthened, perhaps by only a few
seconds, but the quieter condition of the patient assists indirectly in
prolonging the period for operating.

_The advantages of nitrous oxide with air over nitrous oxide alone_ are
somewhat similar to those of nitrous oxide and oxygen, though less

_For operations requiring a long anæsthesia_, such as the extraction of
a difficult third molar, ether should be used, the administration being
commenced with nitrous oxide. In such cases many operators prefer to use
chloroform, but the regular employment of this agent in dental surgery
is to be severely condemned, and the cases are rare indeed in which its
use is called for. A most careful inquiry into this important subject
has been made by Dr. Hewitt, and the results of his work were
communicated in an exhaustive paper published in the _Journal of the
British Dental Association_ for November, 1895, which is well worthy the
perusal of all those who are in the habit of administering chloroform.

Whenever a general anæsthetic is given for the removal of teeth, two
people should always be present, one to confine his attention solely to
the administration of the anæsthetic, the other to the removal of the
tooth, as it is impossible for one person to operate and at the same
time to observe the condition of the patient during the anæsthetic
period. This rule should be strictly adhered to.

For extraction under nitrous oxide, and also to a great extent under
ether, the positions of the patients should differ but little if at all
from those already advocated, with this exception, it is advisable not
to have the head too far back. Before the administration of the
anæsthetic is commenced, any removable artificial teeth that may be in
the mouth should be taken out; the operator should decide exactly what
he intends to do; at the same time it is well not to attempt too much
and to avoid pricking the gum during the examination of any roots that
it may be necessary to extract. The prop should be placed on sound firm
teeth in such a position that the operator can work without being
hindered by it, and a final view of the mouth should be taken. Where
several teeth have to be extracted at one sitting, their order of
removal should be decided upon before the operation is commenced, and if
any particular tooth is causing pain, it should be extracted first. The
order of removal should also as far as possible be arranged so that
changes of instruments are reduced to a minimum. As a rule, lower teeth
should be extracted before upper teeth, because if the latter are
removed first, the blood may pass down and so obscure the lower ones.
Roots should be removed before whole teeth for the same reason. Each
tooth or root must be cleared from the mouth before any attempt is made
to remove another except in cases where the gum is thoroughly adherent;
under this condition the tooth or root may be left and freed from the
gum when the patient has recovered. With teeth which have a liability to
slip out from between the blades of the forceps, it is well as a
precaution to keep a finger of the left hand behind the blades to
prevent the tooth passing backwards should it slip out.


(_a_) =Cocaine.=--The most efficacious of the local anæsthetics in use is
cocaine. It is an alkaloid obtained from the dry leaves of Erythroxylon
Coca, and in practice the hydrochlorate form is generally used. For the
removal of teeth it is necessary to inject a solution of the drug into
the tissues, a simple application to the gum being of little use.
Cocaine has the reputation of not being thoroughly reliable in its
action, but this in a great measure often arises from want of care in
injecting it. Not more than half a grain should be injected for the
removal of a tooth, and even then with people of feeble health, untoward
symptoms may supervene.

_Mode of Employment._--A fresh solution of the drug should be made each
time its use is called for, by dissolving a tabloid weighing half a
grain in 5 minims of distilled water. Half of the solution should be
injected into the gum on each side of the alveolus. The gum being such a
dense tissue, the solution should be injected slowly, otherwise the bulk
of it will escape by the side of the needle into the mouth. As there is
always a tendency for this to happen even when the solution is slowly
injected, it is well to keep a finger of the left hand pressed on the
gum where the needle is inserted.

Speaking personally, I usually occupy about eight minutes over the
injection, and wait for four or five minutes after its completion before
operating. As a local anæsthetic I have generally found cocaine
satisfactory, so far as its anæsthetic properties are concerned, but the
occasional appearance of toxic symptoms, especially in those of feeble
health, should not be lost sight of. Tropacocaine has been recommended
as possessing the anæsthetic properties of cocaine without giving rise
to toxic effects, but in practice I have not found these statements
fully borne out.

_Toxic Effects._--The administration of cocaine, especially if given in
large doses, may be followed by well-marked toxic effects of which the
following are cited by Dr. Hewitt.[4]

“Headache; vertigo; pallor; a cold, moist skin; a feeble, slow, or rapid
pulse, becoming imperceptible in grave cases; incoherence of speech;
nausea; vomiting; unconsciousness; trismus and other muscular spasms;
epileptiform attacks; dilated or unequal pupils; and disturbances of
respiration, culminating in dyspnœa and asphyxia.” The treatment of
cocaine poisoning should be directed first to restoring the circulation
by the administration of a rapidly acting stimulant, such as
sal-volatile, brandy, or the hypodermic injection of ether. The patient
should be placed in the horizontal position, and the respiration watched
for; should this tend to fail, artificial respiration must be
immediately resorted to.

(_b_) =Freezing Agents.=--This group includes such preparations as
_chloride of ethyl_, _coryl_ (a mixture of chloride of ethyl and
chloride of methyl in such proportions that the mixture boils at 0° C.)
and _anestile_. Generally speaking, the anæsthesia produced is by no
means satisfactory, and to use them to the greatest advantage, attention
must be given to the following points:--

(1) The gums must be well dried, and as far as possible all neighbouring
regions, such as the cheeks or tongue, protected by napkins or other
suitable material.

(2) The gums must be thoroughly frozen before commencing to operate.

(3) The extraction must be carried out as quickly as is consistent with

(4) If possible the spray should be continued during the operation.

(5) Too great a jet should not be used.

Freezing agents can be employed much better for front than for back
teeth, in fact it is found at times difficult to freeze the gums at all
satisfactorily at the back of the mouth.


Difficulties, Complications and Sequelæ of Extraction of the Teeth.

Like all other surgical operations, the extraction of teeth is at times
attended with certain difficulties, complications and sequelæ which for
the sake of description will be considered under the following headings:

(1) Difficulties, complications and sequelæ connected with the teeth

(2) Difficulties, complications and sequelæ connected with the jaws.

(3) Difficulties, complications and sequelæ connected with the soft

(4) Difficulties, complications and sequelæ arising during extraction
under anæsthetics.

(5) Miscellaneous complications, difficulties and sequelæ.


(_a_) =Undue Resistance of the tooth and= =alveolus.=--Considerable
resistance to our efforts to remove a tooth at times occurs. This is
naturally most often, though by no means always, met with in those of
strong physique. Teeth isolated are always firmer than those in series;
this is accounted for by a consolidation of the bone around them.
Experience will act as a guide, and it is to a certain extent possible,
after a little observation, to gather from the general appearance of a
tooth if it will give more than normal trouble in removal. Should undue
resistance be met with, steady attempts to move the tooth slightly in
different directions should be made and persevered with; if this
precaution is not taken and too much force is used in any one direction,
fracture of the tooth or alveolus is sure to result. It may, perhaps, be
found impossible to remove the tooth; when this is the case it is best
to dismiss the patient and to make a fresh attempt two or three days
later; the tooth will then probably be loose, as a result of the
inflammation which has been set up by the previous attempt at
extraction, and can be easily removed.

The causes of undue resistance are:--

(i.) Abnormal density of the alveolar process.

(ii.) Divergent and twisted roots.

(iii.) Alteration in the shapes of the roots brought about by
periodontal inflammation (exostosis).

(_b_) =Fracture of the tooth.=--The principal causes of this accident

(i.) The use of badly fitting forceps.

(ii.) The use of unnecessary or wrongly applied force in attempting to
loosen the tooth in its socket.

A tooth having been fractured, the patient should be made to rinse the
mouth until the bleeding has ceased, the socket should be dried with
cotton-wool, and the position and edge of the root defined with a probe
before attempting to remove the fractured portion. It is neglect of
these steps that so often leads to failure to remove the remaining
portion of a fractured root. Too many attempts to remove a fractured
root should not be made; if a second endeavour proves fruitless, the
patient should be dismissed and a fresh attempt, if necessary, made
after a period of one or two days, as the tooth will probably then be
looser from inflammatory trouble, moreover, the hæmorrhage having
ceased, it will be possible to obtain a clearer view of the root.
Before, however, dismissing the patient, an anodyne mouth wash should be
prescribed, and the pulp if exposed touched with carbolic or nitric
acid. The lower third of a root may generally be left without fear of
unpleasant consequences; but it is always well to inform the patient
when any portion of a tooth is allowed to remain in the jaw, as such
knowledge may be of assistance should any trouble arise at a subsequent

(_c_) =Crowded and irregular teeth.=--The removal of these has already
been referred to in Chapter III.

(_d_) =The Removal of the wrong tooth.=--The removal of the wrong tooth
may occur and is naturally due to carelessness on the part of the
operator. Should this accident arise, the tooth must be immediately
replaced and if necessary secured with a ligature. If the pulp
subsequently shows signs of degeneration or inflammation it should be
removed and the canal treated and filled.

(_e_) =Removal of a neighbouring tooth.=--This may occur and is generally
due to a crowded arrangement of the teeth. The accident seems to occur
most frequently with the removal of the first permanent lower molar, the
neighbouring tooth usually involved being the second bicuspid which is
simultaneously dislocated from its socket. This accident can be avoided
by placing the thumb on the tooth which shows a tendency to move, and
exerting only as much force in the removal of the tooth which is being
extracted as can be controlled by the thumb. If a neighbouring tooth is
removed it must be replaced and treated in the same manner as described

(_f_) =Removal of an unerupted bicuspid.=--This may be an avoidable or an
unavoidable accident. At times the developing bicuspid is so firmly
embraced by the roots of the deciduous molar that during the extraction
of the latter tooth the bicuspid is removed--such an accident cannot be
avoided. It is an avoidable accident when it occurs during the
extraction of the roots of a temporary molar and arises from using too
much force. As previously pointed out it is best to leave the fractured
roots of temporary molars alone unless they can be easily removed.

(_g_) =Breaking one tooth in extracting another.=--In the extraction of
lower teeth with hawk’s-bill forceps the upper teeth may be fractured.
This accident is most likely to occur to the inexperienced, and arises
from the tooth leaving its socket suddenly, due frequently to the
extracting force being used in an upward rather than an outward
direction. It may, however, occur when a lower tooth has been more than
normally resistant. In all such cases it is well for the operator to be
on guard by keeping the thumb or a finger of the left hand over the
joint of the forceps.

Also in using the elevator an adjacent tooth may be fractured.


(_a_) =Fracture.=--The fracture and removal of a small piece of the
alveolus is not an unfrequent accident which is fortunately by no means
serious. It is sometimes unavoidable but at other times is due to
getting the blades of the forceps on the outer sides of the alveolus
instead of between the bone and the root of the tooth.

Extensive fracture is sometimes seen, for instance in a case that came
under my notice at the Dental Hospital of London an unqualified person
in removing the first lower right permanent molar fractured the bone in
a horizontal direction so that the second and first bicuspids with the
canine were completely separated from the body of the bone. Mr.
Salter[5] gives an account of an extensive fracture of the jaw which
occurred in a lady æt. 35. The fracture occurred in connection with the
removal of the superior central incisors. The right central incisor
required some force for its removal, and when it came away the whole of
the front of the alveolus was firmly attached to the root. In removing
the left central incisor considerable force was required during the
exertion of which the bone was fractured. On examination of the parts
the mass of bone corresponding to the intermaxillary bone was found to
be merely held in place by the soft tissues. “A vertical fracture
extended from the side of the canine up to the root of the nose, then
nearly horizontally across to the opposite side, being connected there
with another vertical fracture. The lesion passed completely through the
jaw from before backwards, and there was a wound in the palate three
quarters of an inch from the alveolar border, through which was
considerable hæmorrhage.” A still more severe example of fracture during
extraction of teeth is recorded by Mr. Cattlin,[6] where in an attempt
to remove a third upper molar with an elevator the tuberosity of the
maxilla, a portion of the floor of the antrum and part of the sphenoid
were fractured.

Fracture of the maxilla tuberosity may occur during the removal of the
third upper molar, and Mr. Nicol[7] records such an accident during the
removal of the second upper permanent molar. In a case recorded by Mr.
L. Matheson[8] a transverse fracture of the maxilla occurred in a line
between the first and second permanent molars during the removal of the
first-named tooth.

Direct transverse fracture of the horizontal ramus of the mandible due
to extraction of the teeth has also been recorded.

_Treatment._--In fracture of small portions of the alveolar process, no
special treatment is called for except that all loose fragments should
be removed. When the fracture is of a more extensive character, the
fragments must be retained in position by a suitable form of splint, a
description of which will be found in most works on dental surgery.

(_b_) =Necrosis= of the alveolus may result from extraction and is
generally the result of undue violence or of some septic process
occurring in the wound. The _treatment_ to be followed consists of the
use of antiseptic and deodorant mouth washes; the necrosed bone when
quite separated from the living tissue should be removed with a pair of
suitable forceps.

(_c_) =Dislocation of the mandible.=--The use of too much force in
extracting a lower tooth and not at the same time counteracting the
force by supporting the chin, may lead to unilateral or bilateral
dislocation of the mandible. This accident may also be brought about by
forcing the mouth open too much with a Mason’s gag during the
administration of an anæsthetic. It may likewise occur without the
employment of undue force in those who have previously met with or are
liable to dislocation.

_Reduction_ may be brought about by placing the thumbs, carefully
wrapped in a napkin, on the molar teeth and the palmar surfaces of the
fingers below the chin. If downward pressure is then made with the
thumbs, and upward pressure with the fingers, the condyles of the
mandible will generally pass back easily into the glenoid cavity. In
cases where more difficulty than this is experienced, the patient should
be placed in a recumbent position, and corks should be inserted between
the back teeth. Upward pressure should then be applied on the under
surface of the chin. It is advisable, after reduction, for the patient
to wear a four-tailed bandage for about a week.

(_d_) =Forcing a root into the antrum.=--This accident occurs mostly in
connection with the extraction of the second upper bicuspid root and
buccal roots of the first upper permanent molar. If a root has been so
dislocated into the antral cavity as to still partly remain in its
socket, the best course to pursue is to leave it alone and not to
attempt removal as the attempt might only result in complete dislocation
of the root into the antrum. The socket should be kept quite clean by
the continual use of antiseptic washes. As a rule the root gives rise to
no subsequent trouble.

When a root has been forced completely into the antrum, the latter
should be enlarged and the antral cavity thoroughly syringed. For this
purpose it is well to use an aural syringe of five or six ounce
capacity. The rationale of this form of treatment is that the root may
pass out with the return current from the antrum. If this treatment
fails, an attempt may be made to remove the root with a little scoop of
gutta-percha fixed on to a flexible wire. When it cannot be removed in
this manner, the cavity should be thoroughly irrigated with an
antiseptic solution and the root left alone, as it will in all
probability become encysted and not give rise to any subsequent
trouble. If, however, the patient has a history of epitheliomatous
disease of the jaws further attempts should be made to remove it. A case
where a tooth was forced into the antrum in a patient with a family
history of epithelioma of the jaw is recorded in the Transactions of the
Odontological Society, vol. ii., page 15, old series.

(_e_) =Forcing a tooth into an abscess cavity.=--This accident may occur;
if it does, it requires similar treatment to the accident just described
in connection with the antrum.

(_f_) =Trismus.=--Inability to open the mouth naturally renders extraction
of the teeth more difficult than usual. When, however, the closure is
the result of inflammatory trouble in connection with the lower molars,
an anæsthetic should be given and the mouth opened forcibly with a
Mason’s gag. If the trismus is the result of tonic contraction of the
muscles closing the jaw, ether should be used in order to overcome the
resistance of the muscles, as nitrous oxide would not have the desired


(_a_) =Extensive laceration of the gum.=--In cases where a tooth has given
rise to much trouble in removal, the soft tissues naturally suffer, but
apart from this they may be severely lacerated when the gum is more
than usually adherent to a tooth. This is most frequently seen in the
removal of the lower third molar, but it is also sometimes met with in
the removal of loose teeth. When the gum is found more than usually
adherent the tooth should be left in the socket until the gum attachment
has been divided with a pair of scissors or a lancet. Continued attempts
to remove the tooth with the forceps before the gum has been divided
will only lead to undue laceration.

In all cases where the gums have been badly lacerated, an anodyne mouth
wash should be prescribed.

(_b_) =Wounding the tongue.=--This is most likely to occur under nitrous
oxide, as the tongue during anæsthesia is generally swollen, and is,
moreover, not under the control of the patient. Wounding the tongue is
nearly always due to carelessness, and arises generally in using the
elevator. When the tongue is _much lacerated_, the overhanging portions
should be trimmed off with scissors and the surface kept clean with
antiseptic mouth washes. If the _tongue is punctured and the wound does
not involve a large branch of the lingual artery_, but yet bleeds
freely, the tongue should be drawn forward; if this does not prove
successful the insertion of a stitch will generally cause the hæmorrhage
to cease. _If the tongue is punctured and a large branch of the lingual
artery is involved_, the finger should be placed on the back of the
tongue and the organ drawn forward; this compresses the lingual artery
against the hyoid bone. The bleeding point must then be sought for and,
if found, an attempt made to twist the wounded vessel. If this fails
cauterisation may be tried, and as a last resource, if cauterisation
does not stop the bleeding, the lingual artery must be tied.

(_c_) =Bruising the lower lips.=--This may occur in the removal of upper
bicuspids and molars, and is due to having the mouth insufficiently
opened, and using forceps of too straight a pattern.

(_d_) =Injury of the mandibular nerve.=--The mandibular nerve may be
injured during the removal of the lower molars and bicuspids. Loss of
sensation over the parts supplied by the nerve, with dribbling of
saliva, generally follows the accident. Sensation is, however, usually
restored, and in cases of laceration the nerve generally unites.

Mr. Sewill records a case in which “the roots of a lower wisdom tooth
contained a groove and a foramen, through which the inferior dental
nerve had evidently passed.”

(_e_) =Hæmorrhage following tooth extraction= is a most important
complication, and one which needs prompt treatment. Hæmorrhage is
predisposed to by a diathesis known as hæmophylia. Of its pathology but
little seems to be definitely known. The blood in this condition is said
by Walsham to be deficient in fibrin. Hæmorrhage may occur in people not
predisposed to the above-named diathesis; in some instances it is
probably due to pathological changes in the artery supplying the tooth,
these changes being frequently induced by inflammation around the apex
of the root, and the vessel becoming adherent to its bony surrounding,
and thus prevented from contracting. Another condition, which may or may
not have any practical bearing, is the occurrence of hæmorrhage during
the menstrual period. I have, on two occasions, had under notice
patients for whom teeth have been extracted during this period, and in
whom hæmorrhage followed, but ceased at the termination of the period.
Teeth had been extracted for both these patients on previous occasions,
without undue hæmorrhage following.

Hæmorrhage is generally divided into three stages, viz.:--primary,
intermediate and secondary. In the mouth we often find the primary
running into the intermediate. The treatment of primary hæmorrhage, or
that occurring at the time of the operation, is not of serious import.
If it is at all sharp a useful plan is to give the patient some tincture
of hamamelis in the water used for rinsing the mouth. At the same time
about fifteen grains of gallic acid[9] should be given, and the patient
should be ordered to take a similar quantity every two or three hours
until the hæmorrhage ceases. The socket should also be loosely plugged
with cotton-wool dipped in some styptic, such as gallic acid.

Intermediate and secondary hæmorrhage is of a more serious nature, and
generally sets in at night. When a case of intermediate hæmorrhage is
first seen, these two important points should be ascertained before
treating it:--first, whether the bleeding is coming from the gums or the
socket of the tooth; secondly, whether the blood shows a tendency to
coagulation. The latter point will act as a guide in the choice of drugs
for internal administration.

In hæmorrhage from the gum search should be made for any small vessels
that may be the cause of it, and if found they should be twisted or
compressed. If the vessel is only partially divided it should be
completely severed, as this will probably allow contraction to take
place. If the bleeding is capillary in character, a pad of gutta-percha
lined with lint dipped in some styptic and applied with firm pressure is
usually sufficient to stop it.[10]

When the bleeding proceeds from the socket the following mode of
procedure is adopted: some small cone-shaped pieces of non-absorbent
cotton-wool are prepared (each about ⅓ to ½ inch long and ¼ inch broad
at the base), also a pad of lint and a four-tailed bandage; a syringe, a
pair of conveying forceps, some cold water and the chosen styptic are
likewise placed ready for use. The socket is first freed from clot, then
syringed, then dried out with a pledget of cotton-wool, and directly
afterwards one of the cone-shaped pieces of cotton-wool dipped in the
styptic (the most useful being tannin) is placed in the socket and
forced to the apex, with a fair amount of pressure; the hæmorrhage is
arrested far more by pressure than by the styptic. More pledgets of wool
are inserted until the socket is quite full; a plug of lint is then
placed over all and kept in position by antagonism with the upper teeth,
a four-tailed bandage being used for this purpose. An excellent method
of keeping the plug in the socket if the approximal teeth are standing
is to wedge a piece of wood between them. Excellent as this plan is,
however, if the hæmorrhage is at all sharp it is better to use the
four-tailed bandage to make more certain of retaining the plug in
position. The number of pledgets of wool inserted in the socket should
be counted.

The general directions to be given to the patient, though apparently
trivial, are most important and should never be forgotten. He or she
should be advised to go home very quietly, to avoid all forms of
excitement, to assume the sitting position usual during the day, and to
use a high pillow at night. The patient should be fed through a bent
tube, and all fluids should be given cold.

In addition to plugging the socket, hæmostatics should be administered

In _cases where there is_ a thin watery blood and _no tendency to
coagulation_ it may be fairly assumed that the cause of the hæmorrhage
lies in the blood, and such drugs as gallic acid[11] and perchloride of
iron[12] are indicated, _but when the blood shows a marked tendency to
coagulate_ in the mouth, as often happens, and the bleeding still
continues, such drugs as ergot[13] are indicated; in this latter
condition it may be assumed that the cause of the hæmorrhage lies in
some want of contractility of the vessel wall, and ergot causes
contraction of unstriped muscular tissue.

At the time of plugging the socket a dose of gallic acid, perchloride of
iron or ergot should be given, and its administration continued at
intervals until the bleeding ceases. Mr. Morton Smale prefers a
hypodermic injection of ergotine.[14]

The patient should be seen within twenty-four hours after treatment, and
if the bleeding has ceased the plugs may be removed and an antiseptic
mouth wash prescribed. This course is not recommended when the
hæmorrhage has been severe; under such circumstances the plugs should be
allowed to work themselves out. If the hæmorrhage has not then ceased,
the socket should be replugged tighter than before with a plug of wood
wrapped in non-absorbent cotton-wool. Should this prove of no avail the
actual cautery may be tried; if this fails, and the bleeding is from the
mandible, the canal should be trephined and a plug of ivory inserted,
so as to compress the artery against the inner plate of the bone. In
uncontrollable hæmorrhage from the maxilla digital pressure on the
common carotid opposite the transverse process of the sixth cervical
vertebra may be tried; should this fail to stop the hæmorrhage, ligature
of that vessel must be resorted to.

In one case of hæmorrhage from the region of the third right lower molar
Mr. Boyd[15] divided the lip in the median line and reflected the cheek
from the jaw. The mandibular canal was then laid open by excising the
outer plate of the bone, and the bleeding was arrested by plugging the
mesial and distal ends of the canal.

_In extreme cases, with sign of collapse_, normal saline solution[16]
must be infused into the median basilic vein.

In _patients predisposed to hæmorrhage_ extraction should be if possible
avoided; but, if the removal of the tooth be absolutely necessary,
prophylactic treatment should be pursued for three or four days previous
to the operation by the administration of one or other of the remedies
previously mentioned.

A new styptic, consisting of fibrin ferment 1 to 10 to which 1 per cent.
of calcium chloride has been added, is said by Walsham to act only on
the blood, not on the tissues, and to be perfectly aseptic. It was found
to be effectual in arresting hæmorrhage after the division of all the
veins except the common jugular in a dog’s neck.

The tooth should be extracted in the early morning, as we then have the
day before us should hæmorrhage occur. Some hæmostatic should be
administered at the time of the operation and the socket plugged at
once; for it is most important to remember that in these cases it is far
easier to prevent the hæmorrhage occurring than to arrest it when once
it has commenced. The subsequent treatment will consist in the continued
administration of hæmostatic drugs.

(_f_) =Injury of the arteries in the neighbourhood of the teeth.=--Wound
of the _lingual_ artery has been referred to under the heading of
injuries to the tongue. Laceration of the _ranine_, _anterior and
posterior palatine_ arteries may also occur. Such accidents are usually
the result of the forceps slipping and are therefore avoidable.
Treatment consists in pressure or in twisting or tying the divided
vessel. In the case of the _anterior or posterior palatine artery_ it
may be found necessary to plug the foramina which give passage to these

(_g_) =Pain following tooth extraction.=--The causes giving rise to pain
following the extraction of a tooth are:--

(1) _Incomplete extraction of the tooth_, more especially when the
remaining portion contains an exposed pulp.

(2) _Too rapid healing of the orifice of the socket._--It sometimes
happens that the margins of the wound left after extraction unite very
early, and when this occurs the discharges which naturally come away
from the granulating surface at the base of the socket, have no exit;
the consequence is that they are retained and set up a local traumatic
inflammation, leading to swelling of the surrounding tissue.

(3) _Suppuration in the tooth socket._--This may be due in the first
instance to the use of dirty forceps, and under such circumstances it
may be classed as a poisoned wound. An examination will reveal the
presence of greenish putrid pus, while the tissue around will be much
inflamed, and the portion immediately bordering the wound will have a
tendency to slough. A condition of this kind is often seen in hospital
nurses and medical students and is no doubt due to infection met with in
their daily duties.

Suppuration in the socket may be due to a lowered vitality of the
tissue, produced by some such local causes as acute or chronic
inflammation, and is especially well seen in cases of extraction for
the relief of periodontitis, or where the operation has been performed
in patients suffering from general debility, syphilis, struma or in fact
any of those systemic diseases which tend to lower the vitality of the

(4) _Extensive laceration of the hard and soft tissues_ in the
neighbourhood of the socket; and

(5) _Necrosis of the socket of the tooth_ are also fruitful sources of
pain following tooth extraction.

(6) _The presence in the wound of a foreign body._--A curious example of
this came under notice a few years ago. A patient applied for the
extraction of the left first permanent molar. During the operation a
portion of one of the cusps disappeared; a search was made for it but,
as it was not found, the natural supposition was that it had been
removed in rinsing the mouth. The patient for the next three weeks
complained of slight pain in the socket for which remedies were tried
but proved of little use. Eventually the patient discovered the cusp on
the top of the granulation tissue which had filled up the socket. In
another case of the same character which came under notice, the
offending material was a piece of an amalgam filling. A fractured blade
of forceps may likewise act as the offending body.

(7) _Injury to the nerve._--Direct injury to the trunk of the nerve is
more likely to occur during extraction of the lower third molar than
with any other tooth. It is more than probable that many obscure cases
of pain following tooth extraction are due to exposure and irritation of
the nerve at the apex of the socket. An interesting case of this
character was lately reported by Mr. Storer Bennett.[17] The patient, a
lady æt. 23, had had the third upper molar dislocated through the use of
a Wood’s gag, and, as it was considered hopeless to restore the
dislocated tooth, it was extracted without difficulty. The socket in
spite of treatment remained painful for the next twelve days, but in the
meanwhile granulated healthily, except at its apex, where by the aid of
a mirror and probe a spot about the size of a pin’s head was noticed
which caused the greatest agony on being touched. Incision of the nerve
produced permanent relief.

_Treatment._--The treatment naturally depends very much upon the cause.
A thorough examination of the socket should be made with probe and
mirror. When due to incomplete extraction, another attempt, if
considered advisable, may be made to remove the tooth. This proving
unsuccessful, the socket should be swabbed with an anodyne drug and, if
there is an exposed pulp in the remaining portion of the tooth, the pulp
should be touched with fuming nitric acid or strong carbolic acid. The
patient should also be advised to use some poppy head fomentation.[18]

In _too rapid healing of the orifice of the socket_, the freshly healed
surface must be separated, the socket syringed out, and a small tent of
lint allowed to remain in the orifice for about twelve hours. An
antiseptic mouth wash should also be prescribed.

In those cases _where the pus is putrid_ and there is reason to suspect
infection, the socket should be thoroughly syringed with some antiseptic
such as hyd. perchlor. 1 in 1,000, carbolic acid 1 in 40; following this
the parts should be carefully dried with cotton-wool. A small piece of
chloride of zinc should then be introduced and allowed to dissolve in
the socket, which must be subsequently kept aseptic by constant
irrigation with some antiseptic solution.

Suppuration is most frequently seen after extraction of the lower teeth
owing to the fact that drainage is less easily effected than in the
upper, owing to the dependent position of the socket. In many cases it
will be found necessary to plug the socket tightly with non-absorbent
cotton-wool dipped in an antiseptic solution; this prevents the
accumulation of _débris_ which would act as an irritant. In cases of
_suppuration occurring in patients of diminished vitality_ a tonic form
of treatment should be prescribed;[19] the dressing in the socket should
be removed two or three times a day and the socket syringed.

Care must be exercised in applying escharotics to sockets to which the
nerve may be in close proximity; this is especially necessary in dealing
with impacted lower third molars. Two cases illustrating this point have
come under my notice. In the first a second lower bicuspid with a long
standing chronic abscess had been removed. The patient complained of
pain, the socket was syringed out and a small piece of chloride of zinc
inserted. Intense agonizing pain followed which all local anodynes
failed to relieve. In the second case an impacted right lower third
molar had been removed. The socket suppurated, and the pain although
severe was not intense. Treatment similar to that used in the first case
was adopted with similar results. Since then in all cases where it is
possible that the trunk of the nerve may be in close proximity to the
socket, I have used non-irritating antiseptic injections and plugged
the socket with cotton-wool dipped in tincture of opium with much more
satisfactory results.

It is advisable to inform the patient of the possibility of pain
following the extraction of a tooth, especially after periodontitis, and
in all cases where a large number of teeth have been extracted a
mouth-wash[20] should be prescribed; for, even if there is no pain, it
will prevent the discharge from the sockets of the teeth undergoing
putrefactive changes.

_In pain due to necrosis of the socket_ deodorant antiseptic injections
must be used, while in extensive laceration of the soft and hard parts
an anodyne mouth-wash[21] may be tried. In all _obscure cases_ an
application should be made to the socket of some local anodyne such as
tincture of opium or cocaine, and a mouth wash having similar
properties should at the same time be prescribed.


(_a_) =Tongue slipping back.=--During extraction under anæsthetics the
tongue not being under control may slip over the larynx, or may be
forcibly pushed back by the fingers of the operator. Symptoms of
difficult breathing or even arrest of respiration will follow this
accident. It is not enough to watch the chest walls, as respiratory
movement may continue without air entering the lungs. Treatment consists
in pulling the tongue forcibly forward with a suitable instrument and
forcibly extending the head on the spinal column.

(b) =Forcing out a tooth with a prop or a Mason’s gag.=--With a prop this
accident may arise from resting it upon teeth which are loose or from
placing it in such a way that undue leverage is brought to bear on the
teeth. It is an accident most likely to occur when the prop is fixed on
the front teeth and the mouth opened to its widest extent. Under such
conditions undue leverage at right angles to the long axis of the tooth
is brought to bear upon the palatal surfaces of the upper teeth and they
are consequently forced outwards. With a Mason’s gag the accident is
due at times to clumsiness; great care should therefore be exercised
when using this very powerful instrument. If a tooth is forced out it
should if possible be immediately replaced.

(_c_) =Passage of a foreign body through the isthmus of the fauces.=--A
foreign body, such as a tooth, a broken piece of forceps or a prop,
passing through the isthmus of the fauces may become impacted in either
the air or food passages.

In the air passages it may lodge (1) over the entrance of the larynx,
(2) in the larynx, (3) in the trachea or bronchus.

In the food passages it may lodge (1) in the pharynx, (2) in the
œsophagus, (3) at the pyloric opening of the stomach.

_In the air passages._--Should the foreign body lodge _over the entrance
of or in the larynx_ the patient will be seized with a violent fit of
coughing which may expel it; but, should this not happen, symptoms of
asphyxia will supervene. With regard to treatment; the head should
immediately be brought forward and the finger inserted along the side of
the mouth into the pharynx, and then given a forward sweeping movement;
by this means the foreign body, if lodged at the back of the tongue,
will probably be removed. This failing, the patient must if possible be
inverted and a forcible slap given on the back. If the foreign body is
not dislodged by this method, laryngotomy should be immediately
performed. There must be no hesitation about the performance of this
operation and it must be carried out promptly, for the longer it is
delayed the less becomes the chance of saving the life of the patient.

_A foreign body in the trachea or bronchus_ may give rise to no
immediate symptoms, but generally a violent fit of coughing, with signs
of impending asphyxia, takes place at the time of the accident. These
signs pass away, to be followed at intervals by fresh attacks of
coughing and eventually by symptoms of collapse of the lung or lungs.

In a case recorded by Sir William MacCormac,[22] during the removal of
an upper bicuspid the palatine blade of the forceps snapped off close to
the joint and disappeared. The patient immediately suffered from great
dyspnœa and appeared to be dying. The symptoms passed away, and for the
following six weeks the patient’s condition gave no great cause for
anxiety, although she suffered from a constant hacking cough accompanied
by bloody expectoration. Seven weeks after the accident she was admitted
into St. Thomas’s Hospital, the foreign body was with difficulty removed
from the right bronchus, and the patient made an excellent recovery.

_The diagnosis of a foreign body in one bronchus_ is made by an absence
of signs of respiration over the whole or part of the lung on that side,
with exaggerated sounds (puerile breathing) over the opposite side.
Treatment consists in performing tracheotomy and removing the foreign

_In the food passages._--_A foreign body impacted in the pharynx_ will
give rise to pain, symptoms of dysphagia and dyspnœa. A hacking cough is
generally present.

Should a foreign body be suspected in the pharynx, its presence can
usually be ascertained by digital exploration; this failing, the cavity
should be examined by the aid of a laryngoscope.

An attempt should first be made to remove the body with the fingers, and
if this is unsuccessful pharyngeal forceps must be called into use. In
some cases where the impaction is very firm it may be necessary to
perform pharyngotomy.

_A foreign body in the œsophagus_ will cause dysphagia, and will
probably give rise to constant pain; if it is situated in the upper part
it will in all probability give rise to dyspnœa. On applying the
stethoscope over the region of the œsophagus, a gurgling sound will be
heard when the patient swallows fluids. The presence of a foreign body
may be definitely ascertained by passing a bougie; this step will also
enable the surgeon to determine the position in which the foreign body
is lodged.

_If impacted in the upper part of the œsophagus_, an attempt may be made
to remove the impacted body with forceps; this failing, œsophagotomy
must be performed.

_If lodged near the cardiac end of the œsophagus_ an attempt may be made
with a bougie to push the foreign body into the stomach; this failing,
gastrotomy should be performed.

_If a foreign body becomes impacted at the pyloric opening_ of the
stomach, it will give rise to gastric dilatation. Under such
circumstances the stomach must be emptied of its contents, and
gastrotomy then performed.

A foreign body going through the isthmus of the fauces will as a rule
pass into the œsophagus, then into the stomach, and will give rise to no

The details of such operations as gastrotomy, œsophagotomy, &c., do not
lie within the scope of this book, and should be sought for in works
dealing with general surgery.

The necessity of being ready for such emergencies as the above cannot be
too fully emphasised, and all who administer anæsthetics should be
provided with the instruments necessary to perform laryngotomy. These
should be kept in a little case, and no anæsthetic should be
administered without the case being near at hand. Adherence to this rule
is important.


(_a_) =Uterine pain.=--A case is quoted by Mr. Sercombe where extraction
of a tooth was followed by paroxysmal uterine pain, followed by the cure
of an obstinate leucorrhœa.[23]

(_b_) =Shock.=--The fact that _tooth extraction is a surgical operation_,
and may be followed by shock, is often overlooked. The amount of shock
which follows as a rule is practically _nil_, but at times, especially
in the weak, it may be well marked. This is not taken sufficiently into
account when a question arises as to the number of teeth to be extracted
at one sitting, and it should be clearly borne in mind that what a
strong, able-bodied person, can stand, one of weaker physique cannot
bear. The _wholesale extraction of teeth at one sitting_ which is
carried out by some operators is not advisable, and the amount of
prostration that follows is sometimes very severe.

_Syncope at the time of the operation_ sometimes occurs. Should it
supervene during the extraction of the tooth the operator should
immediately desist until recovery ensues. Fainting is best treated by
bending the head down towards the knees, at the same time loosening
anything tight about the neck and applying ordinary salts of ammonia to
the nose. _In severe cases_ the patient should be removed from the chair
and laid on the floor, and the chest should be exposed and flipped with
a towel dipped in cold water. _In more severe cases_ it may be necessary
to inject ether or some other stimulant, such as brandy. _Fatal syncope_
following tooth extraction has occurred, and a case which took place at
Marseilles in 1881 is mentioned by Tomes.[24] The patient was a female,
and an attempt was made to remove a tooth, but was desisted in owing to
alarming syncope. A second attempt was made, or rather about to be made,
when fatal syncope ensued. _Post-mortem_ examination showed nothing
beyond a slight amount of cerebral congestion.

(_c_) =Epilepsy.=--In those pre-disposed to epilepsy an attack often
commences immediately after the extraction of a tooth. In the event of a
fit occurring the patient should be removed from the chair and placed on
the floor, the clothes being at the same time loosened, and a wedge of
wood or some suitable material placed between the teeth to prevent
injury to the tongue.

(_d_) =Hysteria.=--Manifestations of this disorder at times follow tooth
extraction, but do not call for any special treatment beyond that
usually adopted for this disorder.

(_e_) =Septic and infective sequelæ.=--Scattered through dental literature
will be found a large number of records of septic and infective diseases
which have followed the extraction of teeth. In many of these cases it
would be difficult to say that the infection was always the result of
the operation; in a number of them the actual cause was due to the
neglected condition of the tooth which called for extraction. Infection
can, however, at times undoubtedly be traced to the operation, and once
again attention cannot be too strongly drawn to the fact that antiseptic
precautions should be carried out as far as possible.

Suppuration of the socket and its appropriate treatment has already been
dwelt upon (page 82). Cases of syphilis having been acquired through the
use of infected forceps are recorded, while septicæmia, sapræmia,
cellulitis, osteitis, osteomyelitis, periostitis, pyæmia, tetanus, have
all been known to follow the removal of a tooth, but the treatment of
these conditions hardly lies within the scope of this book.



Abnormality of upper molars, 26

  Forcing out a tooth with a prop or a Mason’s gag, 88
  Passage of a foreign body through the isthmus of the fauces, 89
  Tongue slipping back, 88

Alveoli of the teeth, disposition of the, 12

Alveolus, fracture of the, during extraction, 67

   “          “    “   “   treatment of, 69

   “      necrosis of the, following extraction, 70

Anæsthetics, the use of, during the extraction of teeth, 56

Arteries, injury to the, in the neighbourhood of the
      tooth during extraction, 81


Bicuspids, the extraction of lower, 34

    “       “       “     “  misplaced lower, 51

    “       “       “     “      “     upper, 49

    “       “       “     “  upper, 22

Breaking one tooth in extracting another, 67

Bruising the lower lips during extraction, 74


Canines, the extraction of lower, 34

   “      “      “      “  upper, 21

Central incisors, the extraction of lower, 33, 51

   “       “       “      “      “  upper, 19

Chloride of ethyl, 61

Chloroform, the use of, during the extraction of the teeth, 56, 57

Cocaine, mode of employment, 60

   “     toxic effects, 61

  Complications, difficulties, and sequelæ arising during extraction,
      miscellaneous, 94
  Complications, difficulties and sequelæ arising during extraction
      under anæsthetics, 88
  Complications, difficulties and sequelæ of extraction of the teeth
      connected with the jaws, 67
  Complications, difficulties and sequelæ of extraction of the teeth
      connected with the soft tissues, 72
  Complications, difficulties and sequelæ of extraction of the teeth
      connected with the teeth themselves, 63

Coryl, 61


  Epilepsy, 94
  Hysteria, 94
  Septic and infective sequelæ, 95
  Shock, 93
  Uterine pain, 93

  Tongue slipping back, 88
  Forcing a tooth out with a prop or Mason’s gag, 88
  Passage of a foreign body through the isthmus of the fauces, 89

  Dislocation of the mandible, 70
  Forcing a root into the antrum, 71
  Forcing a tooth into an abscess cavity, 72
  Fracture, 67
     “     treatment of, 69
  Necrosis, 70
  Trismus, 72

  Breaking one tooth in extracting another, 67
  Crowded and irregular teeth, 65
  Fracture of the tooth, 64
  The removal of a neighbouring tooth, 66
     “      “    an unerupted bicuspid, 66
     “      “    the wrong tooth, 66
  Undue resistance of the tooth and alveolus, 63

  Bruising the lower lips, 74
  Extensive laceration of the gum, 72
  Hæmorrhage following tooth-extraction, 74
     “           “          “           treatment of, 76
  Injury of the arteries in the neighbourhood of the teeth, 81
  Injury of the mandibular nerve, 74
  Pain following tooth extraction, 81
  Wounding the tongue, 73

Disposition of the alveoli of the teeth, 12


Elevator, 7

Epilepsy, attack of, following tooth extraction, 94

Ethyl, chloride of, 61

Extraction of impacted lower third molars, 54

    “      “  individual teeth, 19

    “      “  lower bicuspids, 34

    “      “    “   canines, 34

    “      “    “   incisors, 33

    “      “    “   molars, 35

    “      “    “   teeth, 30

    “      “  misplaced lower bicuspids, 51

    “      “      “       “   incisors, 51

    “      “      “     teeth, 46

    “      “      “     upper bicuspids, 49

    “      “      “       “   canines, 48

    “      “      “       “   central incisors, 47

    “      “      “       “   lateral     “, 47

    “      “  temporary teeth, 17, 43

Extraction of upper bicuspids, 22

    “      “    “   canines, 21

    “      “    “   incisors, 19

    “      “    “   molars, 23

    “      “    “   teeth, 19

    “      “  the teeth, general principles of, 1

    “      with forceps, 14


Forceps, holding of, 6

Forceps, the, 3

Forcing a root into the antrum during tooth extraction, 71

   “    “ tooth into an abscess cavity during tooth extraction, 72

   “    out a tooth with a prop or a Mason’s gag, accidents
      under anæsthetics, 88

Fracture of the alveolus during tooth extraction, 67

    “    “   “     “     treatment of, 69

    “    “   “  tooth during tooth extraction, 64

Freezing agents, local anæsthetics, 61


General principles of extraction of the teeth, 1

Gum, extensive laceration of the, during tooth extraction, 72


Hæmorrhage following tooth extraction, 74

    “         “        “       “      treatment of, 76

Hewitt, Dr., on the toxic effects of cocaine, 61

   “     “   “   “  use of chloroform in operations, 57

Holding of elevator, 9

   “    “  the forceps, 6

Hysteria, attack of, following tooth extraction, 94


Impacted lower third molars, the extraction of, 54

Incisors, the extraction of lower, 33

    “      “      “      “  misplaced lower, 51

    “      “      “      “      “     upper central, 47

    “      “      “      “      “       “   lateral, 47

Incisors, the extraction of upper, 19

Individual teeth, the extraction of, 19

Injury of the arteries in the neighbourhood of the tooth during
      extraction, 81

   “   to the mandibular nerve during tooth extraction, 74

Instruments, 3

Irregular and crowded teeth, difficulties during extraction through, 65


Laceration of the gum through tooth extraction, extensive, 72

Lateral incisors, the extraction of misplaced upper, 47

Lips, bruising the lower, during tooth extraction, 74

Local anæsthetics, 59

Lower bicuspids, misplaced, the extraction of, 51

  “   incisors, misplaced, the extraction of, 51

  “       “     the extraction of, 33

  “   teeth, the extraction of, 30

  “   third molars, impacted, the extraction of, 54


Mandible, Dislocation of the, during tooth extraction, 70

Mandibular nerve, injury to the, during tooth extraction, 74

Miscellaneous complications, difficulties and sequelæ, 93

Misplaced lower bicuspids, the extraction of, 51

    “       “   incisors, the extraction of, 51

    “     teeth, the extraction of, 49

    “     upper bicuspids, the extraction of, 49

    “       “     canines     “          “, 48

    “       “     central incisors, the extraction of, 47

    “       “     lateral      “                “, 47

Molars, impacted lower third, 54

   “    the extraction of lower, 35

   “         “         “  upper, 23


Necrosis of the alveolus following tooth extraction, 70

Nitrous oxide, the use of, during the extraction of the teeth, 56, 57, 58

Nitrous oxide with air, the use of, during the extraction of
      the teeth, 56, 57, 58


“Oblique rooted” molars, 26

Operations requiring a long anæsthesia, 57

Order of removal of teeth, 59


Pain following tooth extraction, 83

Passage of a foreign body through the isthmus of the fauces,
      accidents under anæsthetics, 89

Points in the anatomy of the teeth and jaws, 11

Position of the operator and patient, 10


Removal of a neighbouring tooth during extraction, 66

   “    “  an unerupted bicuspid  “        “, 66

   “    “  teeth, the order of, under anæsthetics, 59

   “    “    “    with straight elevator, 15

   “    “  the wrong tooth during tooth extraction, 66


Screw, the, 9

Septic and infective sequelæ following extraction, 95

Sequelæ, difficulties and complications arising during
      extraction, miscellaneous, 93

Sequelæ, difficulties, complications and, arising during
      extraction under anæsthetics, 88

Sequelæ, difficulties, complications and, of extraction
      of the teeth connected with the jaws, 67

Sequelæ, difficulties, complications and, of extraction
      of the teeth connected with the soft parts, 72

Sequelæ, difficulties, complications and, of extraction
      of the teeth connected with the teeth themselves, 63

Shock following extraction, 93


Teeth, general principles of extraction of the teeth, 1

  “    which require extraction, 1

Temporary teeth, the extraction of, 17, 43

Tongue slipping back, accidents under anæsthetics, 88

Treatment of fracture of the alveolus during tooth extraction, 69

Treatment of hæmorrhage following tooth extraction, 76

Trismus, treatment of, 72


Undue resistance of the tooth and alveolus, 63

Upper bicuspids, misplaced, the extraction of, 49

  “   canines, misplaced, the extraction of, 48

  “   central incisor, misplaced, the extraction of, 47

  “   lateral    “         “       “      “      “, 47

  “   teeth, the extraction of, 19

Use of anæsthetics during the extraction of the teeth, 56

Uterine pain following tooth extraction, 93


Wounding the tongue during tooth extraction, 73

Wound resulting from removal of a tooth, 16

       *       *       *       *       *

                         DISEASES AND INJURIES
                             OF THE TEETH,

                 _Including Pathology and Treatment_,

             A Manual of Practical Dentistry for Students
                          and Practitioners.


                MORTON SMALE, M.R.C.S., L.S.A., L.D.S.,

          Dental Surgeon to St. Mary’s Hospital; Dean of the
          School, Dental Hospital of London; Member of Board
           of Examiners in Dental Surgery, Royal College of
                         Surgeons of England.


               J. F. COLYER, L.R.C.P., M.R.C.S., L.D.S.,

           Dental Surgeon and Lecturer on Dental Surgery to
           Charing Cross Hospital and to the Dental Hospital
                              of London.

       334 illustrations.     407 pp. and Index.     8vo, cloth.

                              Price 15s.

                              SUPPLIED BY

                     CLAUDIUS ASH & SONS, Limited,

       5, 6, 7, 8, & 9, BROAD STREET, GOLDEN SQUARE, LONDON, W.



 [1] A description of the different instruments in general use for the
 removal of the various teeth will be found in chapter ii.

 [2] A description of the form of each tooth, with respect to its
 bearing upon the construction of forceps and its removal, will be
 found in chapter ii.

 [3] The following is a useful formula:--

  ℞ Liquoris potassæ            Ʒvi.
    Acidi carbolici glacialis   Ʒij.
    Aquam ad.                   ℥viii.

 _M._ One teaspoonful to be used with half a tumbler-full of warm water
 as a mouth wash.

 [4] “A System of Surgery” (edited by Frederick Treves), vol. i., page

 [5] “Dental Pathology and Surgery,” page 340.

 [6] _Transactions Odontological Society_, vol. iii., page 138.

 [7] _Transactions Odontological Society_, vol. xxviii., page 3.

 [8] _Journal British Dental Association_, vol. xiv., page 727.


  ℞ Acidi gallici   Ʒij.
    Ft. pulv.         viij.

 One powder every two hours until the hæmorrhage ceases.

 [10] Perchloride of iron should be avoided as a styptic, it nearly
 always contains some free acid, and is therefore detrimental to the
 teeth; in addition to this it leads to extensive clotting in the
 veins, as well as to a certain amount of sloughing of the gums.


  ℞ Acidi gallici     Ʒij.
    Ft. pulv. viij.

 One powder every two hours until the hæmorrhage ceases.


  ℞ Liq. ferri perchloridi   ♏xxv.
    Aquæ chloroformi         Ʒij.
    Aquam                    ad ℥j.
    Mitte ℥viij.

 M. Two tablespoonfuls every three hours until the hæmorrhage ceases.


  ℞ Ext. ergotæ liquidi       ♏xx.
    Acidi sulphurici diluti   ♏x.
    Aquam rosæ  ad.           ℥j.
    Mitte ℥viij.

 M. Two tablespoonfuls every three hours until the hæmorrhage ceases.

 [14] Injectio ergotini hypodermica B.P.: 1 of ergotine to 2 of camphor
 water. Dose 3 to 10 minims, made as required.

 [15] _Dental Record_, vol. xi., p. 425.

 [16] Common salt, Ʒj., water 0j. at 99° F.

 [17] _Transactions of the Odontological Society_, vol. xxvii., page

 [18] Two ounces of poppy heads should be placed in one pint of boiling
 water, the water being boiled down to half a pint.


  ℞ Ferri et quiniæ citratis      gr. vi.
    Aquæ chloroformi              Ʒij.
    Infusum quassiæ ad.           ℥i.
    Mitte ℥viij.

 M. Two tablespoonfuls three times a day after meals.

 [20] The following will be found useful:--

     ℞ Boro-glyceride (Barff) }
        Eau de Cologne         } aa. Ʒiv.
        Tinct. krameriæ        }
        Spirit vini. rect.       ad. ℥iv.
     ♏ Fiat lotio.

 To be used with water as a mouth wash. Shake before using.


     ℞ Zinci sulphatis     gr. viij.
        Zinci chloridi      gr. vi.
        Morphinæ acetatis   gr. ij.
        Aquam ad.           ℥viij.
     ♏ Fiat lotio.

 To be used with an equal quantity of water as a mouth-wash.

 [22] _The Journal of the British Dental Association_, vol. vii., page

 [23] _British Journal Dental Science_, vol. iii., page 221.

 [24] “A System of Dental Surgery,” 3rd edition, page 626.

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