With the help of our dentists, you may determine together that a tooth extraction needs to be performed for a number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they’ve decayed, have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken beyond repair. Other teeth may require removal because they’re not well-positioned in the mouth, or as part of the preparation process for orthodontic treatment.
Just removing one tooth can cause other teeth to shift, impacting your chewing abilities and causing you to develop problems with your jaw joint. This all has a considerable effect on your dental health.
To prevent these complications, our dental team will discuss with you all the available alternatives to extractions, including replacement in the event that a tooth is removed.
The Process of Extraction
- Before beginning the extraction process, the dentist will need to use a local anesthetic on your jaw bone, your tooth, and the gums that surround the area.
- During extraction, you will feel pressure. This is due to the act of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal.
- You won’t feel pain, as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves. The nerves that transmit pressure, however, are not profoundly affected.
- If you do happen to feel pain during the procedure, please let us know immediately. We stop the procedure and administer more local anesthesia for your comfort.
Sectioning A Tooth
Some teeth need to undergo sectioning before they can be extracted. This is a common procedure that is usually performed when a tooth is firmly anchored in its socket, has a curved root or other factors. The doctor proceeds to cut the tooth into sections and then remove each section separately.
After The Extraction
- To stop the bleeding and begin the healing process after a tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form. To ease the process, you’ll have to bite down on a gauze pad for 30 to 45 minutes immediately after the procedure. If the bleeding continues, place another gauze pad in your mouth and bite down firmly for another 30 minutes. This process may have to be performed various times in order to stop the flow of blood.
- After the bleeding stops, it’s important not to disturb or dislodge the clot. For 72 hours after the extraction, do not rinse vigorously, use straws, smoke, drink alcohol, or brush teeth near the extraction site. Any of these activities may dissolve the clot and impact the healing process. For the next 24 hours, limit any kind of vigorous exercise as an increase in blood pressure may cause more bleeding.
- After an extraction, it’s normal to experience some pain and swelling. Keep swelling to a minimum with the help of an ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas. Take your painkillers as prescribed by a doctor. After 48 hours, the swelling usually subsides.
- If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics, continue to take them as prescribed even if the symptoms and signs of infection are no longer present. Stay hydrated and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the procedure. As soon as you are comfortable post-procedure, it’s usually safe to eat.
- After 24 hours, it’s important to resume your normal dental routine. Brush and floss at least once a day, as it will help the healing process while keeping your mouth fresh and clean.
You should be able to resume your normal activities after a few days. Call our office immediately if you continue to have heavy bleeding, severe pain, or swelling that doesn’t subside after two or three days, or react to your medication.