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Tooth Extractions

Do you need to have a tooth pulled? The decision to getting a tooth extracted is never an easy one.   A tooth extraction can end pain caused by severe tooth damage or decay.

What is a tooth extraction?

A tooth extraction is the removal of your tooth, most often due to severe damage or decay. Yet, there are several other reasons why a tooth extraction might be necessary as well.

Why might I need a tooth extraction?

Damage and decay are the most common reasons to have a tooth extraction. Yet, there are many other reasons as well.

  1. An overcrowded mouth. If you have too many teeth, dentist may recommend a tooth extraction. Sometimes this is also used to prepare for braces or other orthodontic treatments.
  2. An impacted tooth. Impacted teeth are unable to break through the gums to reach their correct position. Sometimes they grow at awkward angles, but there may be other reasons as well. This is often the reason wisdom teeth need a tooth extraction.
  3. Gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the bones and tissues that surround and support teeth. If left to fester too long, it can also cause teeth to loosen in their sockets. If teeth become too loose, a tooth extraction may be the best option.
  4. A high risk tooth. If you are undergoing chemotherapy or another procedure that compromises your immune system, a cavity could mean complications. A tooth extraction can solve this problem before it worsens.

What is happens during a tooth extraction?

Doctor will numb the area where the tooth extraction will occur. If you have a dental fear, let us know. Doctor offers sedation dentistry for your comfort.

If your tooth is impacted, doctor may need to cut any gum tissue or bone to release the tooth. Then, he’ll use forceps to grab onto the tooth, and rock it back and forth until it is loose enough for him to pull out. If the tooth is tough to get out, he might have to remove it in pieces.

Once it is out, a protective blood clot will form in the socket. Doctor will pack gauze into the socket to stop the bleeding. He may need to place some self-dissolving stitches to close up the gums.

What happens after I get a tooth extracted?

It may take you a few days to feel back to your old self after you have a tooth extraction. The first day, you will have some swelling and may also experience residual bleeding. You should relax completely during the first 24 hours after tooth extraction. After that, limit your activity for at least a couple of days.

You can also take these steps to ensure a more comfortable and faster recovery:

  1. Eat soft foods, such as yogurt, ice cream, and soup
  2. Take painkillers as prescribed
  3. Apply an ice bag to the outside of your mouth in the area where you had the tooth extraction. Apply the bag for 10 minutes at a time. Never place a bag of ice directly on the skin. Instead, wrap it in a thin cloth or towel.
  4. Do not smoke, as this can slow the wound healing. While the blood clot is in place, avoid anything that changes the pressure inside your mouth. This includes smoking, using a straw, and spitting or rinsing your mouth with force. Doing so can dislodge the blood clot in the extraction site. If the blood clot dislodges too soon, you are at risk of dry socket, a painful condition.
  5. After the first day, make a solution of ½ teaspoon salt and 8 ounces of warm water. Rinse and spit with care.
  6. When you lie down, make sure you don’t lie flat, which can prolong bleeding. Prop your head up with pillows.

Within one to two weeks, new bone and gum tissue will begin to grow at the extraction site as healing begins.

When should I call my dentist after tooth extraction?

If it has been four hours or more since you had your tooth pulled and you are having severe pain or bleeding, call dentist If you experience any of the following, call us right away:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Any signs of infection (such as fever)
  • Excessive discharge from the affected area
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

Are there risks involved with tooth extractions?

Tooth extractions are generally safe. Yet, there are two risks that may concern a dentist:

  • Harmful bacteria getting into the bloodstream
  • Gum tissue becoming infected

If you have a risk of either of these, doctor may take precautionary measures to protect you. He may place you on antibiotics before and after your tooth extraction. This is especially true if you have any chronic medical condition that puts you at risk for infection.