When is an Extraction Needed?
Extracting teeth should always be a last resort when there are no other options or treatments to save the tooth. Some teeth need to be extracted because of severe decay, advanced periodontal disease, or breaks in the teeth that cannot be repaired. Besides the obvious missing tooth from your smile, a missing tooth can affect your overall oral health, cause problems with your jaw, cause other teeth to shift, and even affect your chewing ability. Prevention of tooth decay and damage is critical to avoid the need for a tooth extraction. Daily and efficient oral habits are required at home including brushing and flossing. You will also need regular dental checkups and cleanings to help you avoid tooth extractions as well as any unwanted dental procedures.
Tooth extractions become necessary when:
- A tooth becomes fractured from an accident
- A tooth has impacted into the gums
- A tooth has become infected or abscessed
- A tooth has developed advanced tooth decay
- An area of your gums has advanced gum disease
If it becomes necessary to perform an extraction, an appointment will be made for the procedure. First, the staff at South Shore Dentistry will x-ray the tooth and root, gaining as much information as possible about the area to be treated. Next your mouth will be numbed in the area of the required extraction. Once the area is numbed, Dr. Burt will start the extraction by rocking the tooth back and forth opening the tooth socket, allowing the tooth and root to become free. Because the area is numb, no pain will be felt but you will feel pressure. In some cases, the tooth has to be cut into pieces and removed because of a curved root or the tooth being very firmly anchored.
Once the extraction is completed, Dr. Burt will likely prescribe pain medication and an antibiotic. Take the pain medication as needed and the antibiotic until it is finished to avoid infection. You will need to hold a gauze in your mouth for 30 minutes to an hour to allow a blood clot to form. No rinsing, using straws, smoking, drinking alcohol or brushing are allowed for about 72 hours to allow the blood clot to stay in place and the area to start to heal. Keep all activity limited for 24 hours. Swelling is expected but can be kept to a minimum by using ice packs in 15 minute intervals. Expect to feel some discomfort for at least three days but up to two weeks. If prolonged or severe pain is felt, bleeding continues, swelling does not subside or you experience a fever please call our office.
Please feel free to call our office at South Shore Dentistry for any questions or to set up a consultation!