Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. It is a fairly standard dental procedure.
When Is Tooth Extraction Necessary?
In many cases, teeth that are broken or damaged by decay can be fixed with a filling, crown, or other dental treatment however when the damage is too severe to repair, we recommend extracting the tooth. Here are some other reasons that may require tooth extraction:
- dental cavities
- gum disease that leads to excessive bone loss
- dental infections
- trauma or injury to the tooth or surrounding bone
- wisdom teeth complications
- preparation for a dental prosthesis
- preparation for dental braces, if the teeth are very crowded
- baby teeth not falling out at the proper age
Prior to the extraction you will meet with the Periodontist to discuss your medical history and if you are currently taking any medications Some people need to stop or start taking certain medications prior to surgery, depending on the amount of teeth, bone, or both to be removed. A person may also receive certain medications on the day of the surgery.
Dr. Glogauer can often manage your extractions without having the patient stop their blood thinner medication. This is managed individually based on the patient’s overall health and type of medication.
In a few circumstances, we may prescribe antibiotics before a tooth extraction. Always take antibiotics exactly as directed by a doctor, and avoid unnecessary use.
Before starting the extraction, the periodontist will take an X-ray of the person’s tooth if your dentist has not provided us with a radiograph. This imaging will help us evaluate the curvature and angle of the tooth’s root. Once the local anesthetic has numbed the area, the periodontist will begin the extraction. If the tooth is concealed beneath gum tissue or bone, the periodontist may need to cut away the gum or remove the obstructing area of bone.
After the extraction, stitches or additional procedures to control the bleeding may be necessary. A thick layer of gauze is placed over the extraction site to absorb the blood and start the clotting process.
Post-Operative Care to reduce discomfort
The gauze must remain in place for at least 20–30 minutes. You many need to replace the gauze if it becomes soaked with blood. The bleeding could continue for 1–2 days after the surgery. Dr. Glogauer will provide you with his cell phone so you can reach him at any time after the procedure.
The numbness from the local anesthetic should only last for a few hours following an extraction. Contact us if the numbness persists. The periodontist may prescribe medication to alleviate pain and inflammation after the procedure.
People may experience mild facial swelling in the area of the extraction. If you apply ice to the face it may help alleviate the swelling.
Allow time for the extraction site to heal
The first 24 hours after an extraction are extremely important. Disturbing or irritating the area can keep blood clots from forming effectively and slow the healing process. People should therefore avoid:
- sucking on the extraction site
- touching it with their tongue
- eating solid — especially crunchy — foods
- rinsing the mouth vigorously
- drinking alcoholic beverages or using mouthwash that contains alcohol
Eating and Drinking
After a tooth extraction, drink plenty of fluids and eat soft, nutritious foods. When chewing becomes comfortable again, slowly reintroduce solid foods. The dentist will recommend chewing on the side opposite from the extraction site until the wound has fully healed.
Brushing and Flossing
Continue to brush and floss as usual after a tooth extraction, but be careful not to disturb the blood clotting. Beginning with the day after surgery, people can also rinse every few hours with warm salt water.