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You and Dr. Smith or Dr. Spoonster may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have 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.
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. Smith or Dr. Spoonster will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.
After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times to staunch the flow of blood.
After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
Use pain medication as directed. Call our office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the teeth extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
After a few days, you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.
Wisdom Tooth Extractions
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to develop in the mouth — usually appearing behind the upper and lower second molars. When a wisdom tooth remains underneath the gum, or when it is blocked from erupting or coming into the mouth normally, it is termed “impacted”. Serious problems can develop from partially impacted teeth, such as pain, infection, and crowding of, or even damage to, adjacent teeth. For totally impacted teeth, more serious problems can occur if the sac that surrounds the impacted tooth fills with fluid and enlarges to form a cyst. This enlargement can hollow out the jaw and result in permanent damage to the adjacent teeth, jawbone, and nerves.
If the cyst is not treated, a tumor may develop from the walls of the cyst and a more involved surgical procedure may be required for removal. It is recommended to remove wisdom teeth early because of the problems mentioned above. As a person grows older, it becomes more difficult to remove wisdom teeth and complications can become more frequent and severe thus, we may recommend the wisdom tooth extraction even if they are not yet causing obvious problems. Whether you need to have one tooth or multiple teeth extracted, it can be done in here in our office for most cases. Local anesthesia is used in all cases, but it can be supplemented with various levels of conscious sedation, ranging from oral pre-medication to I.V. sedation.
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