When faced with a dental problem, our first priority is to preserve natural tooth structure as much as possible. In some cases, however, dental extraction, or tooth removal, is the only path toward a healthier smile.
What are Dental Extractions?
Dental extractions, or tooth extractions, take place here in the office using local anesthetic to numb the area. During the procedure, the tooth is gently removed from its position in the jawbone.
Reasons for Tooth Extraction
There are several reasons why tooth extraction may be necessary. It could be that a tooth suffers a direct and severe injury or break below the gum line. Teeth that are badly decayed may need to be removed, as may wisdom teeth, or third molars. In this day and age of functional orthodontics, there are less extractions needed prior to the application of braces. However, there may be cases in which a tooth or a couple of teeth need to be removed to make space in the mouth for other teeth to come into alignment.
Tooth Removal Procedures
We perform simple and surgical extractions for patients of our Hedgesville general dentistry practice.
- Simple Extraction. A simple tooth extraction is the procedure used to remove a tooth that has fully erupted through the gums. This treatment is typically conducted in just a few minutes and with local anesthetic only.
- Surgical Extraction. A surgical tooth extraction procedure may need to be scheduled when the tooth that is causing pain and problems has not erupted fully; part of the tooth remains beneath the gums. Surgical extraction may also be necessary if a tooth has been broken below the gum line. The procedure may be performed with both local anesthetic, or numbing medication, as well as some type of sedative or anesthesia.
Dental Extraction Pain
It is possible that the removal of any tooth, fully erupted or not, will result in a bit of discomfort. We are available to speak with patients after the dental extraction procedure in order to assist them with pain management. Depending on the extent of extraction, simple or surgical, prescription pain medication may be ordered prior to the procedure so the patient may start dosage soon after arriving home from our office. This way, it is possible to stay ahead of pain for the few days it persists.
Dental Extraction Aftercare
There are two primary aspects of aftercare that are important: Pain management and clotting
Pain can be managed by taking your prescribed medication as directed. Do not wait to see if the pain you experience calls for remedy. Take your prescription so you can avoid the process of having to regain comfort after it has been disturbed. If you experience swelling, apply a cold pack to the cheek for a few minutes at a time.
In order for the socket to heal, it is necessary for a blood clot to form where the tooth once sat. This can take some time, especially after surgical extractions. After the removal of a tooth or teeth, gauze is provided to bite on. The goal is to place gentle pressure on the gauze in order to stop active bleeding. You may need to change your gauze every 20 to 30 minutes until bleeding has completely subsided. After this point, the aim is to allow the clot to remain in place as long as necessary.
Brushing and flossing should resume the day following tooth extraction. We provide you with tips on oral care to minimize bacterial activity in the mouth during your recovery.
Can You Eat After Having a Tooth Pulled?
Most patients do not feel like eating a full meal soon after their extraction procedure. When you do eat, choose soft foods that don’t require much chewing (think soup, yogurt, pudding, ice cream, and smoothies). Avoid beverages and foods that are hot, crunchy, or chewy.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about dental extraction, and would like to see if you are a good candidate, call (304) 754-8803 to schedule a consultation at our office in Hedgesville, WV.