Nothing can completely replace a natural tooth for chewing, biting, and maintaining jawbone structure, which is why your dentist will do everything that they can to help repair, restore, and save your natural teeth. Unfortunately, at times a tooth extraction is necessary.
Reasons why a patient may require a tooth extraction include:
Irreparable tooth damage from severe decay
Required due to periodontal disease
To help an impacted tooth
Elimination of overcrowding
Extraction due to an accident
Types of Tooth Extractions
There are two main categories of tooth extraction procedures: simple and surgical.
A simple extraction can be performed on a tooth with sufficient tooth structure visible above the gum line. It is normally performed under local anesthesia.
Your dentist would use a specialized dental instrument to rock the tooth back and forth, loosening the structures beneath it. They would then use forceps to extract the tooth.
A surgical extraction may be necessary whenever there is insufficient tooth structure visible above the gum line, such as a fractured tooth or one that has not fully erupted. Surgical extractions are normally performed under general anesthesia.
To accomplish a surgical extraction, your dentist would create an incision in the soft tissues surrounding the tooth. In certain instances, a tooth must be split into several pieces to be removed.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
Your dentist may have placed some gauze at the extraction site to minimize post-procedure bleeding. This should also help a blood clot form. This blood clot is vital to your healing and recovery. Keep the gauze in place for about an hour after leaving the dental office.
On the day of your tooth extraction, avoid cleaning teeth next to the site of the extracted tooth for the remainder of the day. You should still be brushing and flossing your other teeth.
One day after your tooth extraction, you can start cleaning teeth adjacent to the site of the extracted tooth. Using warm saltwater, gently rinse your mouth to remove food particles from the extraction site. A saltwater solution can be made from one cup of warm water and half a teaspoon of salt.
Avoid vigorously rinsing your mouth, as this could loosen the blood clot.
Take any pain medication as instructed by your dentist. If your medication is not relieving your pain as expected, contact your dentist.
You can reduce post-operative swelling by applying a cold compress to your face next to the extracted tooth. A cold, moist cloth can also help.
If you experience any of the following, contact your dentist right away:
Nausea, vomiting or fever
Severe or ongoing pain or bleeding
Pain that intensifies over time
For More Information
If you would like to receive more information about tooth extractions, please contact our office at your earliest convenience.