No one ever looks forward to having a tooth extracted. And even though we feel that our permanent teeth are supposed to last throughout our lifetimes, they may become too damaged or decayed to save. When this happens, Sidhu Family Dentistry will recommend extracting the tooth. These are the two primary reasons why extractions are performed. However, there are other reasons for extracting teeth such as:
- Crowded mouth – we sometimes have to extract a tooth or teeth to prepare the patient for an orthodontic procedure such as getting braces.
- Gum (periodontal) disease – if the supportive and surrounding bones and tissue become infected due to a form of periodontal disease, and the tooth is loosened as a result, we may have to extract the tooth.
- Infection – if the damage or decay of a tooth gets into the pulp (the central portion of the tooth where the blood vessels and nerves are), bacteria oftentimes creeps in and infection results. If the infection is so severe that antibiotics have no effect on it, an extraction is usually required.
- Infection risk – when a person’s immune system has been compromised by an auto-immune disorder, chemotherapy, or an organ transplant, we may see an elevated risk of infection in a particular tooth. This may necessitate an extraction.
During the Extraction Procedure
Prior to extracting your tooth, Dr. Sidhu will use a local anesthetic in order to numb the gums, jaw, and tooth. It is possible that you will feel a considerable amount of pressure while the tooth is being pulled. This is attributed to widening the socket for easier removal by rocking the tooth. Thanks to the anesthetic numbing the nerves, you should not experience any pain from the pressure. However, if you do, let us know immediately.
Once the tooth has been extracted, there will be some noticeable bleeding until clotting occurs and the healing process begins. You will be provided with gauze pads to bite down on for up to an hour after the procedure has been completed. If the bleeding or oozing has not ceased, you should use another gauze pad and bite down on it firmly for at least a half hour. It may be necessary to do this a few times before the blood flow stops.
During the next 72 hours, it is extremely important that you brush near the empty socket, drink alcohol, rinse vigorously after brushing, smoke, or suck liquids through a straw as this could cause the clot to dislodge or dissolve and thereby interrupting any healing that is occurring. For the first 24 hours, limit how much you exercise as this could cause bleeding to start from an increase in your blood pressure.
You may experience some pain and swelling afterwards. This is normal unless it persists. In that case you should contact Sidhu Family Dentistry immediately. You can apply a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack to keep the swelling down and take a prescribed painkiller to relieve any discomfort you are feeling. The swelling should subside within the next 48 hours.
Take all antibiotics until they are gone and painkillers as instructed. Call us immediately if you are still experiencing pain despite taking the medication. Be sure that you resume your dental hygiene regimen after the first 24 hours have passed. You should drink plenty of fluids and stick to soft, nutritious foods until you are comfortable enough to resume your regular diet.
Occasionally a tooth will have to be sectioned, a process wherein the tooth is cut into multiple sections in order to remove it easier. Sometimes sectioning is necessary when both the tooth has a curved root and the socket won’t expand for easy removal or if the tooth is anchored too firmly in the socket.