While we do everything in our power to save patient’s tooth, we extract teeth in our office as a last resort. Tooth extraction is often indicated in cases of a deep cavity, vertical fracture, severe bone loss, or trauma and pathology of various kinds.
What to expect during an extraction
If you do need to have an extraction, there are several ways that we can go about the procedure. First, we will numb the area of your mouth so that you do not feel any direct discomfort. You will feel pressure during the process but otherwise remain relaxed and comfortable. If your tooth has matured and broken through the gums, we can use dental tools to wiggle the tooth and pull it out of the socket. We will clean the surgical site thoroughly, and gauze will be used to stop the bleeding while you recover. If your tooth is impacted or still below the surface, as is common with wisdom teeth, oral surgery may be necessary for removing it. When completing this procedure in our dental office, we typically create an incision in the gums so that there is a flap. The flap is reflected so that we have access to the impacted tooth. In many cases, we can wiggle the tooth and lift it out of the socket. However, if there is bone or tissue on top of the tooth, it will need to be cut away first. If the tooth is particularly stubborn and not budging, we might need to break it into several pieces and remove it that way. Once the tooth has been removed from the socket, the area will be thoroughly cleaned before the flap is placed back down and sutured in place. Gauze is then used to stop the bleeding.
What to expect after the extraction
Swelling and pain will go down after a few days, however, recovery time can be longer for more invasive procedures. If the pain does not subside after a few days or if you feel any altered sensations to the jaw/tongue, contact us asap. Complete closure of the gum typically happens in about 6 weeks.
What to do after a tooth extraction
- don’t smoke for as long as you can
- drink lots of water and rest
- don’t create suction in your mouth (ie, spitting hard, using a straw, cough hard)
- no spicy/crunchy food, go on a soft food diet and eat with the other side for a week
- Brush all your teeth regularly but carefully avoid the surgical site for a week.
- No alcohol, no over the counter mouth wash for a week.