Tooth loss is common. Children lose their baby teeth before permanent teeth take their place. However, while the natural loss of baby teeth is a biological process, sometimes your dentist will determine that you need a tooth extraction to preserve your oral health. During this procedure, your doctor will pull out your tooth.
The extraction process seems simple, but at AOMS we value our patients’ knowledge and understanding of all procedures. Here is important information about tooth extraction.
Reasons for Tooth Extraction
There are many reasons why your specialist may determine you need a tooth extraction. Rest assured, if a tooth extraction is recommended it is for the continued health of your gums, teeth, and jaw.
At AOMS, we extract teeth because of
Advanced periodontal disease
Tooth damage that cannot be repaired
Poor positioning in the mouth (such as impacted teeth)
Preparation for orthodontic treatment
Because the gap left by a removed tooth can lead to problems with chewing, bone density in your jaw, and tooth alignment, your doctor will discuss alternatives to tooth extraction as well as your options for tooth replacement.
The Extraction Process
Before the extraction begins, your surgeon will use a local anesthetic to numb the tooth, jaw bone, and gums around the targeted tooth or teeth. Though you might feel pressure during the extraction, the anesthetic will keep you from feeling pain.
To remove your tooth, the surgeon will firmly rock the tooth back and forth to widen the socket and allow for easy extraction.
Sometimes, a tooth is firmly in place. It could be anchored in its socket or the root could be curved so it prevents easy extraction. In these scenarios, your surgeon will use a process called sectioning the tooth. This simply means that the doctor cuts your tooth into smaller sections to remove one at a time.
Tooth Extraction Recovery
After your tooth extraction, your surgeon will ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30–45 minutes or longer until the area is no longer bleeding. This pressure helps form a blood clot in the area where the tooth was removed.
Once the clot has formed, it’s important to refrain from sucking on straws, smoking, drinking alcohol, vigorously rinsing your mouth, or brushing near the extracted area for 72 hours. You should also limit physical activity for the first 24 hours after your procedure.
You might experience some discomfort and swelling. We recommend you manage your pain with an ice pack and pain medications as prescribed. It might feel more comfortable to eat soft foods the day after your extraction, but you can eat regular foods as soon as you’re ready.
Within a few days, you should no longer experience discomfort and can resume your normal activities. If bleeding, pain, and swelling persist for two to three days, please call our office immediately.
In addition to experience with tooth extraction, our doctors are experts in other oral and maxillofacial surgeries including dental implants. If you have a tooth extraction, a dental implant is a permanent and natural-looking tooth replacement option.