About Tooth Extraction: Risk, Procedures and Recovery
A tooth extraction may be required when a tooth can no longer be saved due to extensive damage. If the tooth has severe decay, is impacted, has been broken beyond repair or has become loose due to periodontal disease, the tooth may need to be removed. In other cases, teeth that are poorly positioned may need to be removed before orthodontic treatment can be started.
During the extraction your tooth, gums and jawbone will be numbed with a local anesthetic. You will feel pressure in the area but should not feel any pain. The dentist will rock the tooth back and forth to widen the tooth socket and will then extract it. If the tooth can’t be pulled by widening the socket alone, the dentist will cut it into sections and then remove one section at a time.
Once the tooth has been extracted you will be asked to bite down on a gauze for approximately half an hour to facilitate the healing process. This will slow down the bleeding so that a blood clot can form. In some cases you may have to use another gauze pad and continue to bite firmly for more than 30 minutes until the bleeding stops.
Once the blood clot has formed it’s important that it remained undisturbed for 72 hours. Your dentist will give you clear instructions regarding post-extraction care and may tell you to avoid smoking, drinking with a straw, brushing your teeth in the area of the extraction and to avoid heavy exercise for a day. You can eat soft foods and drink liquids on the extraction day and then return to your normal eating habits once your mouth feels more comfortable.
You may experience some pain and swelling following the extraction, which will usually subside after a day or two. Apply an ice pack to the area to reduce the amount of swelling and we will provide you with post op instructions. If for any reason the pain medication isn’t providing relief please contact our office.
If antibiotics have been prescribed they must be taken until the bottle is empty even if the symptoms and the pain of the infection are no longer present. It usually takes a few days before the pain goes away completely but after that you’ll enjoy a pain-free mouth again and can get back to all of your normal day-to-day activities.
When a single tooth is removed it can lead to shifting of the other teeth, jaw joint problems and issues with chewing. An extracted tooth can severely impact your dental health and will usually need replacing.
If you have a tooth that has been damaged beyond repair or are having problems with your wisdom teeth, an extraction may be the best possible solution available. Our skilled and compassionate team will help you through this process and lead you to the road to recovery.
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