You and Dr. Mike or Dr. Janet may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Teeth often require extraction when they are severely decayed or broken, have advanced periodontal disease, or are poorly positioned in the mouth. We occasionally also remove teeth to prepare for an orthodontic treatment.
Removing a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability and jaw joint and can shift teeth. These issues can have a major impact on your dental health.
In most cases, Dr. Mike or Dr. Janet will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.
The Extraction Process
At the time of extraction, the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jaw bone, and surrounding gums with a local anesthetic.
During the extraction process, you will feel a lot of pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth to widen the socket for removal. You feel the pressure without pain because the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain, but the nerves that transmit pressure are not as affected. If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction, please let us know right away.
Sectioning a Tooth
Teeth that are very firmly anchored in their sockets or teeth with curved roots may require sectioning. This is a very common procedure. Dr. Mike or Dr. Janet will simply cut the tooth into sections then remove each section one at a time.
After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times to staunch the flow of blood.
After the blood clot forms, it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol, or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding.
After the tooth is extracted, you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
Use pain medication as directed. Contact us if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This includes brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
After a few days, you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, contact us immediately.