Tooth extraction is the process of removal of one or more teeth from its socket.
When Is a Tooth Extraction Recommended?
Sometimes, a tooth may be damaged beyond repair, and the best course of action is to extract it. In certain cases, the tooth may have become too infected to save and will be painful to the patient. When a tooth is decayed and leads to infection in the gums, the tooth will need to be pulled.
Removing the infected tooth will also prevent the spread of the infection to nearby teeth or to the jawbone. In other cases, when the patient may need braces to fix overcrowding or misalignment in the jaw, some teeth may need to be removed. This is to make room for the properly aligned teeth. Once the teeth are straightened, the dentist will evaluate whether it is necessary to replace the missing tooth with an implant or bridge.
Tooth extraction may also be done to prevent overcrowding of the mouth or to treat a disease that has already affected the health of the teeth. If a tooth has been damaged by decay or trauma, extraction may be the best treatment. Extraction may also be recommended if wisdom teeth are causing pain or if a tooth is impacted (stuck in a crowded mouth).
It is important to keep in mind that not every toothache requires extraction. If a patient’s pain is the result of an infection, an abscess will need to be drained first. Then, an assessment will be made to determine if additional treatment is necessary. If the infection has spread to the bone, it may require a more extensive procedure to treat the infection and save the tooth. In some cases, antibiotics will be prescribed to help treat the infection before the tooth can be extracted.
What Happens During the Tooth Extraction Procedure?
The dentist begins by administering a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. If the tooth structure is intact, the dentist loosens the tooth by gently but firmly rocking it back and forth. The dentist then pulls the tooth in one swift pull.
But if the tooth is impacted, that is, not fully erupted from the gums, the dentist makes an incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone. In some cases, the tooth may be removed in pieces rather than as a complete structure. To allow for easier removal, the socket is flushed with a sterile solution to remove debris from the tooth and gum line. After the sections are removed from the mouth, sutures are applied to close the gums. Finally, the dentist will place gauze around the affected area to control bleeding and help it heal faster.
During your consultation, our dentist will go over your tooth replacement options with you. If a tooth or several teeth must be extracted, it’s a good idea to consider tooth replacement options before the extraction takes place. This can help to prevent complications and ensure you don’t end up without a replacement option in the future.
What to Expect After a Tooth Extraction?
After the procedure, you may experience some pain and swelling around the extraction site. You may experience bruising and minor bleeding. These symptoms should subside within a few days after the procedure is over. That said, it is important to follow any instructions given by our dentist to ensure a proper healing process. Avoid smoking or using a straw, as this may interfere with the healing process. Be sure to eat soft foods and avoid rinsing your mouth out with water to avoid dislodging the blood clot that has formed over the socket.
Over-the-counter pain medication can be taken as needed to alleviate discomfort for the first couple of days following your procedure. If the dentist prescribes antibiotics, be sure to take the full prescription as directed.
It is important to continue to maintain good oral hygiene habits after a tooth has been extracted. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day. Be sure to return to our dentist for a follow-up appointment within four to six months after your treatment to ensure your healing is going well.
To learn more about these or other dentistry options, schedule a consultation with one of our dentists at Fort Union Family Dental located at 8915 S 700 E Ste 103, Sandy, Utah 84070, or call (801) 562-2147 today! We would be happy to answer any questions you may have!