There are many different reasons why a tooth may need to be extracted. For example, teeth with advanced decay, severe periodontal disease, poor positioning, or irreparable damage may need to be taken out. Some orthodontic treatment also requires tooth removal.
The loss of a tooth can have negative impacts on oral health, so Dr. Lowenguth only performs a tooth extraction when absolutely necessary and discusses replacement options before the procedure.
The Extraction Process
Before extraction, the doctor will numb the tooth and the surrounding area. During extraction, you may experience pressure in the area. This is because the tooth must be rocked to widen the socket. Though you feel pressure you should not feel pain at any point during the procedure. If you do, please let the staff know immediately.
Sometimes teeth require sectioning to be safely removed. This occurs, typically, when the tooth is firmly embedded in the socket, the tooth is malpositioned or when the root is curved. The doctor separates the tooth into sections and then removes each section one at a time.
After Extraction Home Care
After extraction, some bleeding may occur. You can place a piece of damp sterile gauze on the socket and press firmly for a short period, and the bleeding should stop. As an important part of the healing process, blood clots form in the empty socket, you must be careful not to dislodge the clot. Avoid rinsing or spitting for 12-24 hours after the extraction, as well as the use of a straw, smoking, or hot liquids.
If swelling occurs, you can place ice on your face for 10 minutes and off for 10 minutes. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours. If you experience pain, you may use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. To mitigate pain, we recommend a soft diet for 24 hours post-procedure and afterward special effort to keep food away from the wound.
Immediately following the procedure, do not brush for 12 hours. After one day, you can resume gentle cleaning, but continue to avoid commercial mouthwash. Beginning 24 hours after the extraction you can rinse with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed.
Dry socket occurs when the wound after extraction doesn’t clot properly or the clot becomes dislodged. A dry socket delays healing and can cause severe pain. Usually, this begins three to four days post-procedure. If you experience dry sockets, please call our office and Dr. Lowenguth can apply a medicated dressing to the site to aid healing.
After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was removed. In time, this will smooth and fill in with some bone. This process can take many weeks or months.