Tooth extractions are needed for a number of different reasons. If a tooth becomes severely damaged or diseased and a root canal is not considered sufficient to restore oral health, you may need a tooth extraction. Also, if teeth are not properly aligned, or if a tooth cannot pass through the gums, it will have to be removed. Tooth extraction is considered the treatment of last resort unless deemed necessary for a healthy bite.
What are other reasons for tooth extraction?
- Severe pain caused by an impacted (jammed, wedged or crushed) tooth
- Infected teeth or gums (tooth decay)
- Risk of infection (surrounding a tooth or people with high-risk health issues such as cancer)
- Periodontal (Gum) disease
- Overcrowding of teeth (teeth are too big for the mouth)
What to Expect
Dr. Maria Colucciello will discuss all aspects of your tooth extraction, including appropriate replacement options when necessary. You may receive a dose of antibiotics prior to your procedure to avoid infection.
The procedure does not take long. A general anesthetic will be used to numb the area where the tooth needs to be removed. The anesthesia helps prevent pain. If you have an impacted tooth, the gum and bone tissue that covers the tooth will need to be cut.
Forceps may be used to loosen the tooth for an extraction. A blood clot forms in the socket where the tooth has been pulled. Normally, the bleeding socket is padded with gauze and you must bite down on it to stop the bleeding. Depending on the size of the wound, you may need stitches to the socket to close the gum edges over the extraction site.
Before undergoing a tooth extraction, you must inform Dr. Colucciello of your medical history. Having ongoing health issues can lead to further health risks. You should also alert them of all prescribed medications and/or supplements. Some health issues that may put you further risk include:
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Impaired immune system
- HIV or AIDS
- Artificial Joints
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
You will experience some discomfort after the extraction. It may take a few days for you to recover. Over the counter pain, relievers and cold compresses on the exterior of the cheek are typically sufficient and will promote healing. It is recommended that patients avoid smoking, vigorous brushing and rinsing, and drinking liquids through straws for a period of time after the extraction to allow the tissues to heal and avoid infection. Your rate of recovery depends on you following these tips:
- Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction
- After 24 hours, rinse your mouth with salt and warm water solution
- Change gauze pads before they become soaked with blood
- Do not drink from a straw for 24 hours
- Do not smoke
- Eat soft foods only
- Apply ice to the affected area to help keep down the swelling.
- Brush and floss your teeth but be sure to avoid the extraction area
Schedule an appointment for a consultation
The team at West Annapolis Family Dentistry are committed to helping patients achieve and maintain good oral hygiene and health. Don’t wait until you are in severe pain to schedule a visit. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.