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Why do teeth need to be extracted? There are a variety of reasons. For example, some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed. A tooth may have advanced periodontal disease or is broken beyond repair, which requires a dental extraction. A tooth extraction may also be necessary if teeth are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth) or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
Tooth extractions can affect your ability to chew and lead to issues with your jaw joint and shifting teeth—which can impact your overall dental health. At Now Care Dental, our experienced dentists will help you avoid these complications by discussing possible alternatives to a tooth extraction, as well as proper replacement of the extracted tooth.
After it’s determined a tooth extraction is the best course of action for you, the teeth extraction process begins by numbing your tooth, jawbone and gums with a local anesthetic.
During the extraction process you will likely feel some pressure from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal. It is possible some teeth may require sectioning; a common procedure when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time. Some teeth extraction patients may also need stitches at the extraction site.
You will feel no pain during a tooth extraction. That’s because the anesthetic numbs the nerves and stops the transference of pain. However, if you do feel pain at any time, please let us know right away.
After a tooth has been extracted there will be a hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. However, after one to two weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience.
Some bleeding may also occur after a tooth extraction—which is completely normal. To help control the bleeding, we recommend that you place a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and bite down firmly for at least 45 minutes.
Blood clots will form in the empty socket, which protects the bone and is an important part of the healing process following a tooth extraction. You should be careful not to dislodge the clot—and try to relax as physical activity can increase bleeding. Here are some additional tips to follow to control any bleeding:
If swelling occurs after your tooth extraction, you can place an ice or cold pack on the outside of your mouth for 10 minutes and off for 20 minutes. This can also help control any pain. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours. Any swelling should disappear within 48 hours of a tooth extraction.
It is common to experience pain after a tooth extraction—which can last for a few days. To help manage any pain, you may use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If the pain is severe, please call us and we can prescribe additional medication.
For most extractions, make sure you chew away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A liquid diet may be recommended for 24 hours. After that, you may want to gradually begin eating soft foods.
After the extraction, avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. After that you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the site. Beginning 24 hours after the extraction, you can rinse with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) several times a day—we recommend after meals and before bed.
Following the post-extraction instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry socket occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged, and the healing is significantly delayed.
Dry sockets don’t appear until three or four days after teeth extractions. Dull, throbbing pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the dental extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site may appear dry. The dentist can apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to sooth the pain.
Do you need a tooth pulled? To schedule a teeth extraction procedure or consultation at Now Care Dental, call our Eagan-MN office at 651-686-6800. Answering services are available 24/7. Clinic hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.