Tooth Extraction. It sounds painful but it doesn’t have to be. What exactly is a tooth extraction you ask? It is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone.
Extractions are typically a ‘last resort’ type of procedure. If a tooth cannot be fixed by a filling crown, or other treatment, a tooth extraction will have to take place. A very loose tooth also will require extraction if it can’t be saved.
There are many reasons someone could need a tooth extraction. A person may have extra teeth blocking new teeth from coming in, a person getting braces might need to make more room in their mouth for teeth to move, and someone might need to get their wisdom teeth taken out.
To prepare for tooth removal, your dentist or oral surgeon will take an X-ray of the area to help plan the best way to remove the tooth. If you are having wisdom teeth removed, you may have a panoramic X-ray. This X-ray takes a picture of all of your teeth at once. This panoramic can reveal some interesting things that will guide an extraction.
Some things this x-ray can reveal are the relationship of your wisdom teeth to your other teeth, the upper teeth’s relationship to your sinuses, the lower teeth’s relationship to a nerve in the jawbone called the inferior alveolar nerve, and any infections, tumors or bone disease that may be present.
Carolina Smile Design provides local anesthetic or nitrous oxide if requested. They can also can also prescribe a drug like valium before the procedure to help the patient relax if necessary. After the extraction, someone will need to drive you home and stay there with you. Your dentist will give you specific instructions to follow so that you can heal properly.
There are two types of extractions. A simple extraction is done on a tooth that can be seen in the mouth. In this type of extraction, the dentist loosens the tooth with an instrument called an elevator. Then the dentist uses an instrument called forceps to remove the tooth.
The other type of extraction is a surgical extraction. It is much more complex than a simple extraction. It is used if a tooth may have broken off at the gum line or has not come into the mouth yet. Surgical extractions are typically done by oral surgeons. The doctor makes a small incision (cut) into your gum. Sometimes it’s necessary to remove some of the bone around the tooth or to cut the tooth in half in order to extract it.
After your extraction, you should get a lot of rest and will need to take pain medications or NSAIDS. Thankfully, most of the pain disappears after a couple days. Also, expect to have a small amount of bleeding in your mouth for the first 24 hours. It is very important that you do not disturb the clot that forms on the wound.
Putting ice packs on your face will help reduce swelling. Typically, they are left on for 20 minutes at a time and removed for 20 minutes. If your jaw is sore and stiff after the swelling goes away, try warm compresses. You will have to eat soft and cool foods for a few days, such as smoothies. You can try other food when you feel comfortable.
There are potential risks and complications that can happen such as dry socket- when a blood clot doesn’t form in the hole or the blood clot breaks off or breaks down to early. Make an appointment with Carolina Smile Design and find out if an extraction is the right procedure for you.