An extraction is when your tooth has to be removed. There are several reasons why a tooth cannot be saved and may need to be extracted.
A tooth requires extraction when it:
- Is broken or damaged beyond repair
- Is severely decayed
- Has advanced periodontal disease
- Is poorly positioned or is impacted
- Is in preparation for orthodontic treatment
The removal of even a single tooth can lead to a number of problems, which can have a major impact on your dental health. An extraction may cause shifting teeth that can alter your chewing ability. This, in turn, may lead to problems with your jaw joint (TMJ). Therefore, if you have a tooth that requires extraction, it is important to discuss with Dr. Hoffman your best options for treatment and subsequent replacement of the missing tooth.
The Extraction Process
Prior to the extraction, Dr. Hoffman will numb your tooth, jawbone, and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic.
It is normal to feel pressure during the extraction process; however, you should not feel any pain.
If you do feel any pain or discomfort during the extraction procedure, please let us know right away.
Sectioning A Tooth
Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure performed when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket cannot expand enough to remove the tooth. The tooth is simply cut into sections and then each section is removed one at a time.
Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket (biting down firmly on it) and replacing it every several minutes for the next 30 to 45 minutes will control bleeding. If an hour has passed and there is still heavy bleeding, please contact our office immediately at Exton Office Phone Number 610-524-0115.
Blood Clots That Form in the Empty Socket
This is an important part of the healing process and you must be careful not to dislodge the clot.
Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction.
Avoid the use of a straw, refrain from smoking, and do not drink hot liquids for at least 24 hours after the extraction.
If swelling occurs, you can place ice on your face for 10 minutes and then off for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours.
Pain and Medications
If you experience pain, you may use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen (Advil, Aleve, Motrin). Occasionally, a prescription strength pain reliever may be necessary.
For most extractions, just be sure to do your chewing away from the extraction site. Avoid hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours. A softer diet is normally recommended for 24 hours.
Brushing and Cleaning Your Mouth
Avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. Also, avoid commercial mouth rinses for at least 24 hours, as they tend to irritate the site. After 24 hours, you can resume gentle cleaning, and you can use warm salt-water rinses (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) after meals and before bedtime.
Dry socket occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth was extracted or the clot has been dislodged. If a dry socket develops, healing is significantly delayed.
Following the post-operative instructions carefully will reduce the chances of developing a dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull, throbbing pain that does not normally appear until three or four days after the extraction. This pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry. Treatment of dry socket involves applying a medicated dressing to ease the pain and stimulate formation of a blood clot.
After a tooth has been extracted, there will be an indentation in your jawbone at the extraction site. Over time, the gingiva in this area will smooth and the area will fill in with bone. Although it may take several weeks or months for this to occur, after one to two weeks it should not be any inconvenience to you at all.
For more information concerning post-operative care click on Home Care Instructions After Tooth Extraction