Tooth Extractions

Why would you need a tooth extraction?

We may recommend a tooth extraction for a variety of causes. Some of the most common are:

  • Extreme degrees of decay.
  • Periodontal disease that has progressed past normal levels.
  • Damage that cannot be mended.
  • Teeth that are impacted or are irregularly oriented in the mouth.
  • To prepare for orthodontic treatment.

What are some common complications with tooth extractions?

When a tooth is removed, a space is left which can cause other teeth to move and alter their positions. The vacant space can also lead to complications with the jaw joint and the ability to chew and maintain your dental health. In order to evade problems like these, ask your doctor(s) about possible other solutions and/or what your options to replace the missing teeth.

What is the process of tooth extraction?

Step One: The doctor will use a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding gums and jawbone.
Step Two: The doctor then needs to rock the tooth back and forth to enlarge the socket encapsulating the tooth. During this part of the procedure, you will feel a lot of pressure but no pain. If there is any pain present, let the doctor know right away.

In some cases, the tooth being extracted is too deeply rooted in the socket to be removed simply by enlarging the socket. When this occurs, the doctor will section the tooth by dividing it in to smaller portions and then extracting each portion at a time.

What happens after the tooth is extracted?

The first and most important thing post-extraction is to stop the bleeding from the socket by allowing a blood clot to form. Directly after the procedure, gauze will be applied to the extraction site. We ask that you bite down to apply pressure for at least 30-45 minutes after leaving the office. After this time, carefully remove the gauze and check to see if the site is still bleeding. If the bleeding perseveres, apply a clean pad of gauze with pressure for another 30 minutes. Repeat this procedure until the site is no longer bleeding.

For 72 hours after the bleeding has stopped, it is critical to not perform any actions to reopen the wound. Some actions that should be avoided are the following:

  • Suck strongly through a straw.
  • Imbibe alcohol.
  • Smoke cigarettes.
  • Rinse your mouth out forcefully.
  • Brush your teeth near the extraction site.
  • Strenuous workout activity (for 24 hours).

During the healing process, it is common to experience some pain and discomfort along with different degrees of swelling. In order to control the swelling, we suggest icing the jaw at the site and following the directions as prescribed for any pain managing medications. Any antibiotic medications that have been prescribed by your doctor should be taken as directed for the full amount of time and dosage whether symptoms persist or not.

You should stick to soft, healthy foods and a lot of clear liquids. You should be able to return to eating normally whenever you are comfortable to do so.

At any time during your healing process, our office is available for any questions or concerns you may have. If you experience extreme bleeding, intense pain, persistent swelling (2-3 days), or any reaction to any medication, please contact us immediately.