If severe damage to a tooth is detected during an examination, your doctor will first consider if another treatment, such as a filling or crown, could be a viable option. However, if a tooth has suffered too much damage to be repaired, your doctor could recommend it be extracted.
When might I need a tooth extraction?
There are a number of situations in which a tooth extraction could be beneficial for your overall oral health.
You might need a tooth extraction if
- you have broken, cracked or excessively decayed teeth
- you have impacted teeth causing you pain or discomfort
- you have extra teeth, or a small mouth with crowded teeth, keeping other teeth from reaching their ideal positions
- you have infected teeth following an illness that weakened your immune system
- you need to create room to improve positioning for other teeth (often recommended before getting braces)
- you’ve received radiation to your head or neck area
You might have felt apprehensive about getting a tooth extracted at other dental practices because you weren’t fully informed of the procedure and why you need it. Before asking you to make a decision, your doctor will explain why you need a tooth extraction and then answer any questions you might have.
What happens during a tooth extraction?
At Discovery Dental Centers, we want you to feel as comfortable as possible before, during, and after your tooth extraction. Our high standards in dental care practices allow you feel confident in our diagnosis and comfortable during the procedure.
Your doctor can perform a simple extraction of any tooth that can be seen in a visual examination. After all appropriate precautions have been taken, your doctor will remove the tooth using the easiest and least painful technique possible.
What should I do after my extraction?
Simple tooth extractions typically don’t cause much discomfort after the procedure, but your mouth might be sore for a few days. If needed, your doctor might recommend that you take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen. However, some patients don’t feel the need to use any pain relievers.
Protect against infection.
After your extraction, your doctor will have you compress the incision by biting on a piece of gauze for 20 to 30 minutes. This allows the incision to clot, which is a defense mechanism that keeps out bacteria. The incision area might bleed a small amount during the next 24 hours; this is normal. Just be sure not to disturb the clot that forms over the wound.
After 24 hours has passed, keep the area clean by gargling a warm saltwater rinse two times a day. Simply mix half of a teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water, and rinse.
Do not smoke, spit, or use a straw within the first few days of your extraction, as doing so could disturb your clot and expose the incision to infection or dry socket.
You might experience swelling if your extraction is severe or if you have several extractions performed during one visit. You should ice your face shortly after the procedure and any other time you feel pain on your face. Eat soft, cool foods for a few days to minimize pain in the area until your mouth feels less sore.
Most of the swelling and bleeding should subside within two days of the procedure. If swelling and bleeding persists, please contact us immediately. At Discovery Dental Centers, your overall health is our number one priority at all times.