Tooth Extraction Q & A
Do I need a tooth extraction?
There are many situations where a tooth extraction can help alleviate pain or prepare you for another cosmetic or restorative procedure. Some common reasons for extraction include:
- Advanced periodontal disease that has loosened the tooth roots
- Extra teeth or baby teeth that impede adult teeth
- Preparation for orthodontic treatment
- A fractured or malformed tooth
- Severe tooth decay that root canal therapy can’t remedy
In other cases, you might need a surgical extraction, which is slightly more complicated than a simple tooth extraction. You may need a bone grafting procedure or an immediate tooth implant to replace a lost or broken tooth.
What happens during a tooth extraction procedure?
As a precaution and to help plan your course of treatment, Dr. Lee will first take X-Rays of the tooth or teeth in question. He will inform you of the condition and diagnosis. With this new information, Dr. Lee will provide any alternative treatment options and give you the risks and benefits of each before deciding on an extraction. Once all information has been presented, you may make an informed decision and decide on an extraction. Once you have decided on having an extraction, replacement options will be provided in term of bone grafting, implants, bridge, or dentures.
After preparing a method of extraction, you will receive a local anesthetic that prevents you from feeling any pain during the procedure.
Next, Dr. Lee uses a tool called an elevator to lift the tooth and loosen the base of the tooth. Finally, he uses a pair of forceps to gently rock the tooth back and forth until it is atraumatically removed.
Occasionally, a stubborn tooth will resist coming out. In these and more complex cases, the tooth may need to be prepared into smaller pieces for removal. Dr. Lee prides himself in making simple and surgical extractions minimally invasive and atraumatic. The manner in which Dr. Lee extracts teeth causes minimal trauma to the surrounding tissues. This in turn makes a speedy recovery but also preserves the surrounding bone to maintain the jawbone for future implants, prosthesis, and jaw shape.
Once removed, Dr. Lee packs gauze over the site and has you place pressure on the area by biting down. If necessary, he uses stitches to close the socket.
What happens after my tooth extraction?
While you won’t experience any pain during the actual procedure, you might notice some tenderness and swelling after a tooth extraction. Dr. Lee will provide individualized post-treatment care that may include antibiotics, special mouthrinse, anti-inflammatory, and pain medications.
He may ask you to apply an ice pack to the area immediately after the procedure. You’ll need to rest for at least 24 hours and limit your physical activity for a few days, and it may be a few days before you can eat solid foods again.
It’s important to keep your mouth clean and avoid smoking after a tooth extraction. Dr. Lee will follow up with you to make sure you are healing as planned.
To learn more about tooth extraction procedures at Pacific Northwest Dental Care, schedule an appointment online or over the phone today.