In certain circumstances, Dr. Loeffler, Dr. Pitt or Dr. Stephens may determine that you need a tooth extraction. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed, others may have advanced periodontal disease, or some may have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.
To avoid these complications, in most cases, Drs. Loeffler, Pitt or Stephens will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.
The Extraction Process
At the time of extraction, the doctor will need to numb the tooth that is to be extracted as well as the jaw bone and gum tissue that surround the area. Local anesthetic will be used during an extraction in our office.
The anesthetic will numb the nerves thus stopping the transference of pain. However, during the extraction process you will feel a lot of pressure. The nerves that transmit the sensation of pressure are not affected by local anesthetic. The pressure you will feel is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal.
If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction, please let us know right away.
Sectioning a Tooth
Some teeth require sectioning in order to remove them more easily. This is a very common procedure. Sectioning a tooth is typically performed when it is firmly anchored in its socket, or if the root is curved and the socket is unable to expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections and removes each section one at a time.
After Tooth Extraction
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 to staunch the flow of blood.
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 72 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 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 at least once a day. 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.
Referral To An Oral Surgeon
There will be times when Dr. Loeffler, Dr. Pitt or Dr. Stephens will make the decision to refer you to a specialist for your tooth extraction. If a tooth is impacted, if we anticipate it being a more difficult extraction, or if you are considering the placement of a dental implant, you will be better served by an oral surgeon. If we decide to refer you to an oral surgeon, we promise to refer you to one of our most trusted colleagues who we know holds the same values and practices at the same standards as we do.