The thought of losing a tooth is anxiety-inducing for most patients, but you can take comfort in knowing the procedure is very common. Most extractions are quick and easy, and dentists and periodontists are experts at minimizing pain and discomfort during the procedure. You can also take comfort in knowing there are many tooth replacement options available that can easily offset any negative impact on your bite, speech, or smile.
Tooth extractions are necessary for a wide range of reasons, so you may need to have one at some point in your lifetime. Learning more about the procedure and knowing what to expect, can help ease your nerves. Here is everything you need to know about tooth extractions and the process:
When Is A Tooth Extraction Necessary?
A tooth extraction is a very common procedure and there are many reasons why it might be necessary.
The most common reasons are related to poor oral health and hygiene. Rotten, infected, or damaged teeth are weak and may require extraction in order to prevent infection. Severe cases of periodontitis can also limit your gum’s ability to securely hold a tooth in place. In these cases, your dental provider will attempt to resolve the issue with a dental filling, crown, or by treating the gum disease; however, this isn’t always possible. Extraction is usually only recommended if the situation is beyond repair.
A tooth extraction may also be necessary if you have compacted wisdom teeth or baby teeth that are blocking the growth and development of adult teeth.
Types Of Tooth Extraction Procedures
There are two types of extraction procedures, and the right one for you ultimately depends on the location, visibility, and condition of your tooth.
- Simple Extraction – This extraction is done when the tooth is visible and easily accessible. During a simple extraction, you’ll receive a local anesthetic to numb the area, and then your dentist will use an elevator to raise and loosen the tooth. Forceps are used to grab the tooth and loosen it until it detaches from the alveolar bone. This process is usually very quick and easy.
- Surgical Extraction – If the tooth is not visible or easily accessible, your dentist may need to make an incision in the gum tissue in order to gain access to the tooth. The tooth will often be broken up into smaller pieces and removed. Surgical extractions are usually performed while a patient is placed under general anesthesia.
Both methods are highly effective and your dentist will always try to perform a simple extraction first. Surgical extractions are only performed when they’re absolutely necessary.
How To Prepare For A Tooth Extraction
In order to reduce the risk of infection or complications, we always recommend practicing good oral hygiene in the days leading up to the procedure. You should not smoke on the day of the procedure, and if you are experiencing any illness, vomiting, or nausea, you may need to reschedule your appointment.
If you’re getting a surgical extraction, you will likely be placed under general anesthesia and need to arrange transportation to and from the appointment.
What To Expect After A Tooth Extraction
You will likely experience soreness, discomfort, inflammation, and potentially some light bleeding following the procedure. These symptoms are fairly mild with simple extraction but can be a bit more severe following a surgical extraction. Your dental provider will provide a detailed plan for managing pain and discomfort which will be custom-tailored to your specific situation.
Proper care and good hygiene following tooth extractions are essential for limiting complications. You’ll want to bite down on gauze pads for at least 30 minutes after the procedure to stop any bleeding. You’ll need to stick to soft foods for several days after the procedure, and you can use ice packs on your cheeks to help reduce swelling. Regularly rinsing with warm salt water is a good way to help cleanse the extraction site until you’re cleared to resume normal brushing.
It is very important you do not smoke following a tooth extraction. This can result in a dry socket, which occurs when a blood clot at the site of the extraction is dislodged or does not develop. This leaves the bone and nerves exposed, which is incredibly painful.
If you need a simple or surgical tooth extraction in Central Florida, contact us at Ormond Beach Perio today. We do everything possible to ensure patients are comfortable throughout the entire procedure. Dr. Stuart Beauchamp is also an expert when it comes to dental implants, which are highly regarded as the best solution for missing teeth.