You may need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed, have advanced periodontal disease, or have been broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment. Many circumstances exist that require the expertise of a specialist for this procedure.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health. To avoid these complications, in most cases, Dr. Mengedoth will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth or teeth.
Upon diagnosis of the need of extraction, the doctor will determine if utilization of a specialist is indicated. If so, we will communicate with the specialist regarding your needs. X-rays will be forwarded to the specialist along with any other instructions. If the extraction doesn’t require the need of a specialist, Dr. Mengedoth will review the entire process with you.
The Tooth Extraction Process ⇓
First, the Dr. will numb the appropriate area with a local anesthetic.
During the extraction process you may feel a lot of pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for tooth 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 done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can't expand enough to remove it. The doctor sections the tooth into multiple segments, then removes each segment of the tooth one piece at a time.
Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 45 minutes can control this. Blood clots will 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 using a straw, smoking and hot liquids.
If swelling occurs you can place ice on your face for 10 minutes and off for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours.
Pain and Medications ⇓
If you experience pain you might use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Aspirin or medications that act as blood thinners should be avoided.
Chew away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A soft diet is also recommended for 24 hours.
Brushing and Cleaning ⇓
After the extraction, avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. After that you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the site. Beginning 24 hours after the extraction you can rinse with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed.
Dry Socket ⇓
A dry socket is when a blood clot fails to form in the socket or the clot has been dislodged where the tooth has been extracted. This significantly delays healing and may cause significant pain.
Following the “post extraction instructions” previously mentioned will reduce the chances of developing a dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain, which doesn't appear until three to four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry sockets may cause a bad taste or bad breath. The doctor will apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to soothe the pain.
After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in the bone. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. However after 1- 2 weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience