Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. There are many different reasons a tooth may need to be removed. If it’s been damaged by decay or broken, we will try to fix it with a crown or filling. If there’s too much damage, then the tooth needs to be extracted.
Reasons for a tooth extraction:
- Tooth is too decayed and can’t be saved
- Tooth is very loose
- Sometimes baby teeth don’t fall out in time for the permanent teeth to come in
- Sometimes extra teeth block other teeth from coming in
- If you are getting braces, you may need to have some teeth extracted to create room for the teeth that are being moved into place
- Wisdom teeth are often extracted before or after they come in.
- Sometime people receiving cancer drugs may develop teeth that become infected due to their weakened immune system
- Sometimes teeth become infected after an organ transplant
- Sometimes people needed radiation to the neck and head may need to have teeth extracted
Your Gentle Dental dentist will discuss with you alternatives to extractions, and also the need for a tooth extraction.
The process of extracting a tooth
We first numb the area around your tooth, gums and jawbone with a local anesthetic. As we are extracting the tooth, you will feel a lot of pressure. This pressure is from the rocking of your tooth in order to widen the socket for removal. You will feel the pressure, but not pain, as our anesthetic has numbed the nerves. If at any time you feel any pain, let us know. You should only be feeling pressure. It is possible your tooth may require sectioning This is a common procedure in which the tooth is firmly anchored into it’s socket, and we can’t get the socket to expand enough to remove it. The dentist will cut the tooth into sections and remove one section at a time, if this is necessary.
Next, a blood clot will form to stop the bleeding from the extraction. This begins the healing process. You will bite on a gauze pad for thirty to forty-five minutes immediately after the extraction. If the bleeding persists, place another gauze pad on the area of the extraction and bite firmly for another thirty minutes. You will follow this process several times to stop the flow of blood as the extraction area begins to heal.
Do not dislodge or disturb the blood clot once it forms. It’s important to not rinse vigorously, brush your teeth, drink alcohol, smoke or suck on a straw for the next 72 hours, near the extraction site. Also limit vigorous activity for the next twenty-four hours.
After the tooth extraction, you may experience some swelling or feel some pain. Using an ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen corn or peas can help keep the swelling to a minimum. Take prescribed pain medications as needed, and the swelling usually subsides after forty-eight hours. Contact our Gentle Dental office if the medication isn’t working properly. If you are prescribed antibiotics, take them for the full length of the prescription. Drink lots of fluids. Eat soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you feel comfortable. You can also resume your normal dental routine after twenty-four hours. Brush and floss normally. This will speed the healing process, along with keeping your mouth clean and feeling fresh. After a few days, you can resume all normal activities. If you have any heavy bleeding, swelling for 2-3 days, severe pain, or a reaction to your medication, contact us immediately.
Contact Gentle Dental today, to schedule your appointment, and discuss any questions you may have.