On a rare occasion, it may be determined that you need tooth removal for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment. The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, all of which can have a major impact on your dental health. To avoid these complications, in most cases, alternatives to tooth removal will be discussed as well as the replacement of the extracted tooth.
The Tooth Removal Process
At the time of extraction the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic. During the extraction process you will feel a lot of pressure. This pressure is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal. You feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain; yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected. If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction, please let us know right away.
Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is firmly anchored in its socket, or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections and then removes each section one at a time.
What are the post-op instructions for having a tooth extracted?
Bleeding: Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 45 minutes can control this.
Blood clots that form in the empty socket, the formation of a clot is an important part of the healing process and you must be careful not to dislodge by avoiding the following actions:
- Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction!
- Avoid use of a straw, smoking or hot liquids!
- Swelling – If swelling occurs, you can place ice on your face for 10 minutes and off for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours.
Pain and Medications: If you experience pain after tooth removal, you might use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Eating and Drinking: For most extractions just make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A liquid diet may be recommended for 24 hours.
Brushing and Cleaning: After the extraction, avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. After that, you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses as they tend to irritate the site. Beginning 24 hours after the extraction, you can rinse with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed.
Dry Socket: A dry socket is when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted, or the clot has been dislodged and the healing is significantly delayed.
Following the post tooth removal instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain, which doesn’t appear until three to four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry.
Please call our office for an appointment if you experience a dry socket. Your doctor will apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to sooth the pain.
Healing: After a tooth removal, there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. However, after 1- 2 weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience.
Pulling Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom tooth removal is required when teeth crowd each other and cause other teeth to grow incorrectly. Removal of wisdom teeth is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. We offer our services in an environment of optimum safety using the latest monitoring equipment. Our staff are experienced in the latest anesthesia techniques. Pulling wisdom teeth is something that our dentists do every single day. Call us now and set an appointment.