Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the jawbone. Extractions may be required for a number of reasons.
Cavities are extremely common, and sometimes a cavity is so progressed that it cannot be repaired with dental fillings, crowns, or other procedures. In these cases, extraction is necessary to prevent infection or further tooth decay. Extractions are also commonly performed when a wisdom tooth is unable to erupt into your mouth fully. Wisdom teeth are often removed for this very reason.
What are the reasons for tooth extraction?
Tooth extractions are necessary when decay has destroyed too much of the tooth structure to be saved. Extraction may also be recommended if your tooth is impacted or crowding other teeth or in cases of infection.
The other reasons why teeth need to be extracted, including:
- An infection
- A broken or severely cracked tooth
- Tooth decay
- Periodontal disease
How is an extraction carried out?
Tooth extraction is performed under a local anesthetic, so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. The dentist will remove the tooth from the socket. This may involve some wiggling or pushing.
Once the tooth is out, the dentist can check the socket to make sure it is free from any infection. The dentist may place some stitches to help it heal.
What to expect after a tooth extraction?
After tooth extraction, you will be sent home with a gauze pad placed over the extraction site. This pad should stay in place for a half-hour and then be changed. After an extraction, it may be difficult to chew food for a few days.
It is common to experience some swelling, bruising, or bleeding. We recommend placing a cold pack over the extraction site to help alleviate these symptoms. You can repeat this cold pack every 20 minutes for the first 6-8 hours.
You may experience pain after tooth extraction. We recommend taking an over-the-counter pain reliever to alleviate this pain.
It is especially important that you avoid drinking through a straw or smoking after tooth extraction. These activities can dislodge the blood clot that has formed. A dislodged blood clot can cause a dry socket, which is extremely painful.
Once the extraction site has healed, you can resume your normal eating and drinking habits.
Call 34th Street Dental Care at 708-484-6576 to schedule your consultation with our dentists to learn more about our dental treatments.