Why are teeth extracted?
Your dentist will determine with you if you need a tooth extraction for any reason. Tooth extraction may become necessary if your teeth are decayed past the point of saving, have been fractured too intensely to repair, or in cases of advanced periodontal disease. Another reason that tooth extraction may be required is if the tooth is poorly positioned in the mouth, or is not growing in correctly, such as impacted teeth. In this case, your dentist will recommend the tooth be extracted in order to prepare for further dental treatment.
However, the removal of a tooth can affect the overall health of the mouth, such as impairing your ability to chew, or causing a shift in teeth or jaw joint stability issues. These factors can cause dental issues down the road, and your dentist will make sure to discuss other options for dental treatment and replacement before committing to removing your tooth.
The Extraction Process
Your doctor will apply an anesthetic to the surrounding tissues and nerves of the jawbone and tooth in order to provide the most comfort during the procedure. With proper anesthetic, the patient should experience mild to moderate pressure as the tooth is prepared for extraction, as the tooth itself is rocked from side to side to help loosen it from the jawbone. This pressure is mild, however, due to the anesthetic itself, which prevents the patient from feeling pain throughout the process by inhibiting the nerves in the area of treatment. However, if the patient experiences pain during the procedure it is important to alert the dental staff to make sure the issue can be taken care of immediately.
Sectioning a tooth
In some cases, the tooth itself is either too firmly rooted or too decayed to be removed in a single extraction. In these cases, the dentist will use sectioning to split up the tooth itself, so as to cause minimal damage to the socket itself. Each portion of the tooth is sectioned out and removed by the dentist. This method is most often used in cases where the root of the tooth is curved.
After Extraction Home Care
Clotting is imperative to the healing of an extraction site, which is why you should be careful of an extraction site after your appointment. We have you bite down on a gauze pad to aid the formation of the blood clot, which speeds up the recovery process. Any bleeding or oozing after the procedure can be taken care of by changing the gauze pad, and may need to be repeated up over 24 hours. It is normal to find traces of blood in your mouth after the extraction.
It is important to make sure the blood clot stays in place to aid healing. Avoid brushing the extraction site, sucking on straws, or vigorous rinsing for at least 72 hours after your procedure. Any of these activities can remove the blood clot and severely slow the healing process. It is also important to not exercise vigorously for at least 24 hours after your procedure, as it can cause more bleeding at the extraction site and slow the formation of blood clots.
Swelling and pain is normal after a tooth extraction, and can be lessened by using an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas. It is also important to take pain medications as per prescribed, which will help ease any discomfort and limit inflammation at the extraction site. Swelling should go down within a week after your extraction.
If your medication does not seem to be working, call our office to get recommendations from the dentist. If antibiotics were prescribed, take them for the full time prescribed, even if the infection itself seems to have abated. You can resume eating as per usual, based on your comfort level. Usually, hard, crunchy, acidic and spicy foods can be irritating to the extraction site/s. They should be avoided for the first week unless they are comfortable to consume.
Normal dental care can be resumed after 24 hours, including brushing and flossing regularly. This can help speed healing and prevent infections.
If : your bleeding continues heavily after 24 hours; you continue to have severe pain after a week and do not feel like there has been any improvement; you feel like you are having an allergic reaction to medication; you have a fever over 100, call our office as soon as possible.