You and Dr. Smart may determine 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, Dr. Smart will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.
The Extraction Process
At the time of extraction, Dr. Smart will need to numb your tooth, jaw bone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic.
During the extraction process you will feel a lot of pressure, and hear clicks and pops. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal.
You 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.
If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction please let us know right away.
Sectioning a Tooth
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. Dr. Smart simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.
After Tooth Extraction
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. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times to staunch the flow of blood.
After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. 24 hours after your procedure, please do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke or drink alcohol. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise and extreme heat for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site. Dr. Smart recommends 24 hours after extraction to use warm salt water rinses multiple times per day, and gentle brushing on either side of extraction site.
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 48 hours.
Use pain medication as directed. Call our office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. 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 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.
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Patient Review by Gracie J
I hadn't been to a dentist since I was very young, so I was very nervous and a little scared about going. However, from the moment I called, until I left my appointment I felt at ease. Dr. Smart and her staff are very courteous and friendly. Her hygienist assisted with my visit and she calmed my nerves and explained everything that would be happening. Dr. Smart then came in and explained about my extraction and talked me through the whole thing. During the extraction Dr. Smart kept me calm and at ease. I am glad that I chose to see Dr. Smart. I will be going back for more services. I would highly recommend Dr. Smart and her staff to anyone.
- Gracie J