As your dentist, one of our primary goals is to ensure that you have a mouth full of your healthy teeth. However, sometimes we meet a patient in our exam chair who has a tooth that cannot remain in their mouth any longer and needs to be extracted. The reasons why a tooth may require extraction can vary, but when we do advise a dental extraction, it is always with your best interests in mind. We understand that being told that you require a tooth extraction can be somewhat scary, but when you come to us here at Summercrest Dental for a tooth extraction, you can trust that we will be gentle and careful during the entire procedure to minimize any discomfort for you.
Why a Tooth May Need To be Extracted
Ideally, we would like to save all of your teeth, but sometimes that cannot be done. Not all teeth can be salvaged, and it may be more dangerous and riskier to you to try to keep the tooth in your mouth. In these cases, dental extraction is the safest choice we can offer to you.
There are several reasons why we may require that your tooth is extracted. Common reasons include severe tooth infection or decay, an elevated risk of infection or danger to the tooth, or trauma or injury to the tooth. We also may advise dental extraction if you have an impacted tooth, which means that it failed to erupt through the gum line. Dental extraction may also be necessary to prepare you for orthodontic work, such as if your teeth are overcrowded.
Types of Dental Extractions
There are two main types of dental extractions that you may encounter in our office. The first type of dental extraction is called a simple extraction and is very straightforward. It can be performed with a local anesthetic such as lidocaine. During a simple extraction, we will start by carefully loosening the tooth with our forceps. Once the tooth is adequately loosened, we will then gently ease it out using our dental forceps. Simple extractions are best for teeth that are visible and not broken off underneath the gumline.
If your tooth is not visible, or it has broken off beneath the gums, we may have to perform a surgical extraction. This may require a combination of local and intravenous (IV) anesthetic to perform. To do this, we will place a small incision into the gums around the affected tooth. We may also have to remove a small amount of bone tissue to facilitate the procedure. We will then remove the affected tooth using our dental tools.
Please follow our aftercare instructions carefully. We will place a piece of gauze on the surgical site after we remove the tooth. Keep it there for three to four hours, changing it as it becomes saturated with blood. This will help a clot form to encourage healing. Avoid using a drinking straw, as it can dislodge the clot, leading to a painful condition known as dry socket. You can start to gently rinse 24 hours after the procedure with salt water. Eat soft foods and avoid tobacco products, and avoid any strenuous activities in the 48 hours after your extraction.
If you suspect that you may need a tooth extracted and would like to schedule an appointment with us, or you want to learn more about this procedure, please give us here at Summercrest Dental a call at (503) 567-8827 today!