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Tooth Extraction

What Is a Dental Tooth Extraction?

A tooth extraction is the removal of the tooth from its bone socket done under anesthesia by an oral surgeon or dentist. Dental tooth extraction could stem from many issues but it is common to get one due to a tooth infection, excessive tooth decay, or crowding. For those who are getting braces, you may need to have a tooth extracted prior to. If there is crowding or there needs to be some room for movement an extraction may be necessary.

When Is a Tooth Removal Necessary?

A tooth removal or emergency tooth extraction may be necessary if there is severe pain, swelling, and/or an abscess that affects one’s daily activity. If left long enough, an infected tooth can even cause a blood infection, which may need to be treated at the hospital. It’s best to have your toothache checked out before things get even worse.  Whenever possible we recommend to try to save the tooth but in certain cases, it is better to remove the tooth. An emergency tooth extraction may be necessary:

  • When a tooth is not restorable
  • Pre-orthodontic reasons and/or to create space
  • Severe periodontal disease
  • Tooth fracture
  • Severe cavity
  • Wisdom tooth removal when needed  

How To Prepare

Before a tooth removal an evaluation and overview with Dr. Kim will be discussed to prepare for the procedure…

  • A comprehensive dental exam will be done including dental X-rays taken and models made of your teeth and mouth. You also may need a special type of computed tomography (CT) scan, that will allow the dentist to accurately measure the height and width of your existing bone to evaluate the health of your teeth and jaw bone.
  • Treatment plan. 212 Smiling will tailor a treatment plan to account all factors of the procedure.  If the surgery is invasive we will take into account the factors and the procedure with a timely thought out plan.  This will include a walkthrough of the procedure, a step by sept treatment guide and a follow up an appointment if needed.

Make sure to tell your doctor about any medical conditions and any medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements. If you have heart conditions or orthopedic implants, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics before surgery to help prevent infection.

Anesthesia may be used to control the pain during your procedure. The 212 Smiling team will instruct you about eating and drinking before surgery, depending on the type of anesthesia. If general anesthesia is used, someone will have to assist you home after surgery and expect to rest for the day.

What to Expect During a Tooth Extraction

There are two types of extractions:

  • A simple extraction, usually done using just a local anesthetic, is performed by the dentist loosening the tooth then using forceps to remove the tooth.
  • A surgical extraction is a more complex procedure where you will receive a local anesthetic, or you may need anesthesia. If a tooth has broken off at the gum line or has not come into the mouth the doctor will make a small incision into your gum and simply remove the tooth. But, sometimes it’s necessary to remove some of the bone around the tooth or to cut the tooth in half in order to extract it.

Tooth Extraction Surgery Aftercare

The following advice is across-the-board for any patient recovering from any invasive cosmetic or surgical dental procedure.  After extraction, the socket will fill with a blood clot and there will be no complication when this clot stabilizes and matures. Sometimes there may be some minor pain and swelling for few days following extraction. For any surgical or difficult invasive performance of surgery or dentistry, dental aftercare impacts heavily on the ability of the body to continue healing itself after the trauma of invasive medical and dental procedures.

Step ONE: Control swelling first. Swelling causes pain through inflammation and can complicate every other healing result. Control swelling using ice applied to the face near the surgery site. Alternate icing for 15 minutes with ten minute breaks between. Continue for two or three hours until reduced.

Step TWO: Control bleeding. Do this using firmly gentle pressure on the surgery site directly, using your surgical gauze for at least two hours. Change the gauze frequently. Do not rinse the mouth or use a straw for 24 hours. If bleeding is persistent, you can place a moistened tea bag over the site and apply gentle firm biting pressure to keep the bag in place. Do not smoke during this time.

Step THREE: Pain and comfort control. Take your prescribed medication. Avoid spices and big temperature swings in food. Eat soft foods for 24 hours, minimum.

Step FOUR: Hygiene. After 24 hours have passed, begin rinsing with salt water and/or peroxide four times a day for one or two weeks to prevent infection. Brush very lightly around the surgical site, increasing brushing vigorousness as comfort allows.

Call us at (212) SMILING with any questions to report excessive pain and discomfort.

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