Tooth extractions are a common procedure we conduct here at Thomas Plunkett, DMD. Patients come to us asking if they can have their tooth removed because it is causing too much pain to bear. However, just because a tooth is aching, does not necessarily point to an extraction. We first see if there are other ways we could treat the tooth. For instance, an infected, injured, cavitated, or decayed tooth may just need cleaning out the damaged tissue and filling or covering the tooth. Extractions are only a solution when a tooth-saving procedure does not work. Sometimes, though, you can have healthy teeth extracted.
Do You Need a Tooth Extraction?
A recommendation to get a tooth extracted will be our last resort. If the tooth is damaged by decay, bone loss, or other dental health issues, we may have to remove it. Having a tooth pulled can be a bit nerve-wracking, but the procedure is painless, and you will have a much healthier mouth for doing it. Our dentists at Thomas Plunkett, DMD know precisely when to pull a tooth to make sure that your mouth is left healthier.
The most common reason that teeth are removed is when they become impaired. This can happen if you have teeth not growing in correctly. This is one of the most common reasons that wisdom teeth are removed but it can happen with other teeth as well. Our team will also suggest extracting teeth that cannot be reasonably salvaged. Excessive tooth decay, an infection of the pulp that cannot be resolved with a root canal, and severe tooth overcrowding are some reasons why teeth would need to be extracted.
If your teeth are too damaged to repair by normal means such as bonding, fillings, or other methods, then we might advocate for removal. This is to prevent further damage to your mouth and overall health.
Types of Extractions
One method of tooth removal is a simple extraction. In this procedure, a dentist removes a tooth that is growing straight or is visible in the mouth. It may be a damaged or decayed tooth but it has the crown still visible. Our dentist will apply local anesthesia when removing a tooth. Sometimes, conscious sedation may be used. The dentist will push your tooth back and forth with a dental elevator and will then pull it out with dental forceps to remove it. A simple extraction just takes a short time since not much work is needed.
A surgical extraction is another type of tooth removal. A surgical extraction involves accessing the tooth deep in the gum tissue. An impacted tooth, for example, can be removed through this oral surgery procedure. A tooth that has broken the crown and is buried beneath the gums needs surgical extraction. Our dentist will cut open the gum tissue. This allows access to the tooth. Once the dentist has accessed it, the next step will be to pull it out with forceps. It may be removed as a whole tooth or in small pieces. After removal, you can bite on gauze so that you do not experience much bleeding.
Recovering from Tooth Extractions
Once you have had a tooth extraction, it is crucial you follow the aftercare tips that our dentist provides for you. Patients typically recover from tooth extractions in a few days. Applying an ice pack to the outside of the mouth for 10-minute intervals reduces swelling. Patients who receive gauze from our team should leave the gauze in place for four hours or until the gauze is completely saturated with blood, whichever comes first. Patients should count on missing at least one day of work or school after the extraction. For the first 24 hours after an extraction, patients should not smoke, use straws, or rinse their mouths.
Using a soft-food diet for a week after the extraction is advised to avoid aggravating the extraction site. Immediately after extraction, consume only fluids, and avoid hot or cold food and drinks.Take care of your mouth and teeth as you usually do. Brush and floss regularly. However, on the first day, avoid brushing close to the site. After two or so days, you can get back to your usual oral care routine.
A dry socket is a post-extraction issue that can cause a patient severe complications when it occurs. Dry sockets occur when the gap left by the extracted tooth exposes the underlying bone. The best way to prevent a dry socket is to apply a tooth replacement – such as a dental implant, a bridge, or dentures – as soon as possible to permanently fill the gap.
Does a Tooth Extraction Hurt?
During a tooth extraction, a dentist will administer sedation to make you remain relaxed and comfortable. Therefore, you will not feel any pain. However, after the procedure, you may experience some slight discomfort, but you can manage this with over-the-counter pain medications. Also, if you are having teeth extracted that are severely damaged or decayed, the nerves may already be dead or in the process of dying, so the affected tooth might not send pain signals out.
Do You Need a Tooth Extracted?
Our team at Thomas Plunkett, DMD prefers to save permanent teeth as frequently as possible. However, there are instances where natural teeth cannot be salvaged, and having the affected teeth remain in the mouth poses risks to the rest of the mouth. In these instances, our team will opt to remove the affected teeth and offer replacement treatments such as dental implants or bridges to restore full oral functionality.
Visit us at Thomas Plunkett, DMD if you think you should get a tooth extraction. Not all cases of toothaches or decay require tooth removal. Our dentist will have to assess your case to see if extraction is appropriate or if there is another suitable procedure that can save the tooth like root canal therapy. Call us at 863-372-1010 to set up an appointment.