You and Dr. Bichon or Dr. Osborne may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons: severe decay; advanced bone loss caused by periodontal disease; or an irreparable fracture. 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, your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, all of which have a major impact on your dental health.
Depending on the tooth, Drs. Bichon or Osborne will discuss alternatives to extraction as well as possible replacement of the extracted tooth.
The Extraction Process
At the time of extraction, the doctor will need to anesthetize the area completely to ensure your comfort.
You will feel pressure during the procedure, due to 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 performed when a tooth is firmly anchored in its socket, or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply sections the tooth then removes each section one at a time.
After Tooth Extraction
After a tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form and begin the healing process. Bite on a moist gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another moist 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. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol, or brush teeth next to the extraction site for up to 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the 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.