Tooth extraction involves removing a severely damaged tooth from its socket in the jawbone. If you are facing a tooth extraction in the future, you may feel a little uneasy. However, having a tooth extracted is nothing to fear. Not only can the expert staff at Weissman Dental perform the procedure safely and comfortably, but we can also recommend and perform a procedure to replace your missing tooth or teeth.
Types of Tooth Extractions
Depending on your specific case, we will either recommend a simple extraction or a surgical extraction. A simple extraction involves removing a tooth that is visible above the gums and is still in one piece. In order to determine if a simple extraction is all you need to get rid of a problematic tooth, we will perform some tests and take an x-ray. This is a relatively mild procedure that we can perform using only local anesthesia. Recovery time for a simple extraction typically lasts only a few days with minor swelling at the extraction site that can be reduced by applying ice packs.
In contrast, a surgical extraction is more intensive. However, it is still a safe and relatively comfortable procedure. A surgical extraction is necessary when a tooth is beneath the surface of the gums or is cracked or broken. This procedure also requires stronger anesthesia, so you will need to arrange for transportation prior to a surgical extraction. Patients typically experience mild to moderate discomfort following this procedure, which can be alleviated with a prescription from our office or with an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Why a Tooth Extraction?
In many cases, a broken or decayed tooth can be restored with a filling or a crown. However, if the damage is so severe that restoration isn’t possible, we will recommend that you have it extracted. There are several ways that a tooth can require extraction. One of the most common reasons is simply that decay has reached too deeply into a tooth and/or infection has destroyed the majority of it. In some cases, we will recommend extraction of a healthy tooth if overcrowding is an issue and the tooth is keeping other teeth from coming in. This is commonly performed in preparation for orthodontic therapy or when primary teeth don’t fall out in time for adult teeth to emerge. Another common need for extraction is when one or more wisdom teeth, aka third molars, needs to be removed to avoid overcrowding. This is commonly performed in the late teens or early 20s.
Aftercare for a Tooth Extraction
Of the utmost importance following a tooth extraction is to keep the treatment area clean to prevent infection. Once we’ve extracted a tooth, we will ask you to bite gently down on a sterile gauze pad over the area for 30 to 45 minutes. This will help minimize bleeding and promote clotting. For the first 24 hours after an extraction, you should avoid smoking, rinsing your mouth too vigorously, or brushing the teeth adjacent to the extraction site. You should also avoid strenuous activity, hot liquids, and drinking through a straw. Plus, you should make sure to follow any specific aftercare instructions we give you immediately following your extraction.
Whether you’re a newbie to tooth extraction or a seasoned pro, the best way to ensure a successful procedure is to follow some simple guidelines following your extraction. If you have any questions about tooth extraction, give Weissman Dental a call at (503) 274-2222 to set up a consultation.