Our office’s main goal is to help preserve your natural teeth and keep them healthy for as long as possible. However, there may be a time when it is in your (or your child’s) best interest to have a tooth extracted (removed). This could be for a variety of reasons:
- severe damage from trauma or decay
- advanced periodontal disease
- impacted wisdom teeth
- preparation for orthodontic treatment
- compromised position of tooth in mouth
- removal of primary tooth to aid eruption of developing permanent tooth
Tooth removal, unless due to orthodontic needs or impacted wisdom teeth, can present a situation where esthetics are an issue and also cause problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint (TMJ), shifting teeth, etc. All can have a major impact on your dental health. Dr. Clanton and his dental team will be happy to discuss options for treatment and subsequent replacement (interim or permanent) of missing teeth. In many cases, patients may be a candidate for a dental implant or fixed dental bridgework.
The extraction process involves use of local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding area. Once anesthesia is achieved, steps are taken to gently “elevate” or loosen the tooth from a network of ligament fibers that attach it to the jawbone. Pressure without pain and a “rocking motion” will be felt as the area around the tooth or “tooth socket” is widened for removal. Great care is given to the surrounding bone and tissue to ensure that it is not damaged during the extraction. This helps to aid in tooth replacement options at a later date.
After Tooth Extraction Care
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.
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 48 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 the 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 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 twice daily. 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.
Please call our office at 423-929-7146 or contact us online if you have any questions or concerns regarding extraction procedures.