It may be determined that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed, others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health. To avoid these complications, in most cases, we will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.
Sometimes it’s also well indicated to do a bone graft at the same time of the dental extraction in order to preserve the ridge for future rehabilitation. Socket preservation or alveolar ridge preservation is a procedure to reduce bone loss after tooth extraction to preserve the dental alveolus (tooth socket) in the alveolar bone. A bone grafting material or scaffold is placed in the socket of an extracted tooth at the time of extraction. The socket is then directly closed with stitches or covered with a non-resorbable or resorbable membrane and sutured.
The Extraction Process:
At the time of extraction the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic. During the extraction process you will feel pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal. You will feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain, yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected.
Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.
After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the appointment. You may have to do this several times to staunch the flow of blood. Our doctor will also provide any additional information you may need in order to ensure the extraction heals properly.
After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 72 hours. Use pain medication as directed. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean. After a few days you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 3-4 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.