Broken bone chips are common remnants of dental extraction. They are often mistaken for pieces of tooth and can appear weeks after the extraction itself. These chips can normally be removed on your own, yet they sometimes require the help of a dentist to be removed safely.
Reasons for Extraction
Teeth are removed for a variety of different reasons. The process of extraction is normally performed on fractured or extensively decayed teeth to avoid infection and discomfort. The removal of wisdom teeth between the ages of 18 to 24 is another common reason for extraction.
Process of Extraction
To extract a tooth, the surrounding bone has to be expanded slightly to allow the tooth to be pulled from its socket. This is normally done by rocking the tooth against its socket, which causes minute fractures. When the tooth is pulled free, often small bone fragments are still attached to the jawbone. When the fractures heal, they can release these bone fragments, or sequestra.
What Happens to Sequestra After Extraction
The sequestra normally reattach to the main body of the jawbone during healing. However, the healing can stop, and sequestra that don't heal fully become dead as they lose their blood supply. When the sequestra has become necrotic (dead), the body ejects them from the healing socket. This often requires the dentist to extract the sequestra because the fragments can cause the patient pain.
Because of their likeness, sequestrii are often confused for teeth fragments that the dentist has missed. However, they are not; sequestrii are a normal complication of extractions. They are not a mistake the dentist made because they are often undetectable at the time of extraction.