A tooth can be compromised for a variety of reasons, whether it’s advanced tooth decay, periodontal disease, or even overcrowding in your mouth. Regardless of the reason that we may have to extract a tooth from your mouth, it’s entirely understandable that you may be a little anxious about the procedure. Nobody likes to be told that their tooth could not be saved, which is why we here at ZenTech Dentistry approach this routine procedure with absolute gentleness and compassion. While we all expect our permanent adult teeth to last our entire life, we can at least provide you with options to help you not even miss your missing tooth at all!
Reasons You Might Need a Dental Extraction
There are two primary methods of extracting a tooth from your mouth. We can either perform a simple extraction or, if medically necessary, a surgical (complex) extraction. No matter which extraction we perform, however, you can trust that we will make your comfort an absolute priority throughout. We offer a variety of anesthetic options to our patients, ranging from local anesthesia to conscious sedation, which involves providing our patients with nitrous oxide to keep you calm and relaxed.
A simple extraction requires loosening your tooth before removing it with a special tool called an “elevator.” An elevator helps lift your tooth out of the socket; then we’re able to grasp it with our forceps for complete extraction. If we need to perform a surgical, or complex, extraction, then we may need to cut an incision into your gums. While most extractions will probably be a simple extraction, a surgical one is necessary when your tooth is broken, impacted, or below the surface of your gums.
When a tooth becomes severely infected or damaged, we will try to save it. We may try to perform a root canal first, and cover it with a crown. However, sometimes we do need to extract your tooth. This happens for many reasons, such as if your teeth are crowded and we need to make room for dental work. We may also have to remove impacted teeth, particularly wisdom teeth. A tooth that has a severe infection from gum disease (like an abscess) may require extraction, too. Sometimes tooth decay progresses to the point that the tooth is too damaged, and in that case, we do also need to remove it from your mouth.
After your extraction, pay close attention to our aftercare advice. We will pack your extraction site with gauze to help stop the blood flow and encourage the formation of a clot. Leave the gauze in place for at least a half hour, but four or five hours is better. If a blood clot does not form, you should notify us right away. This can be extremely painful.
Do not use a drinking straw after your extraction and abstain from vigorous exercise for at least 48 hours. After 24 hours, you can start to gently rinse with salt water up to five times per day. You can also use a cold or hot pack for comfort and take over the counter pain medicine if you feel any discomfort. Avoid aspirin, though, as it can cause bleeding. Stick with soft foods, and of course, do not smoke or use tobacco products.
If you haven’t been at our office in a while, you may be at higher risk of tooth decay or infection. Regular cleanings, every six months, can help prevent unwanted tooth loss. To learn more about dental extractions, or to schedule, an appointment at our office here at ZenTech Dentistry, give us a call today at (503) 765-9699.