Although they are made to last a lifetime, it may become necessary at some point in time to pull one or more teeth. There are several reasons for this. The most common reason is that the tooth has become too badlydamaged by tooth decay or trauma to be saved.
Here are some reasons tooth extractions need to be done:
Your mouth is too crowdedDentists will often extract teeth in preparation for orthodontic work. If your teeth are too big for your mouth, alignment may not be possible. If a tooth is unable to break through the gum line because of a crowded mouth, extraction may be suggested.
Once tooth decay has reached the pulp of a tooth, the center of the tooth where the nerves and blood vessels are, tooth extraction may be needed. Pulling the tooth may also be needed when a root canal will not be effective in stopping the infection from spreading to other teeth.
Risk of infection
If you have a compromised immune system due to HIV or AIDS, an organ transplant, or you are receiving chemotherapy, even the risk of an infected tooth may be justification for extraction. If a tooth has become loose because of periodontal disease, a serious infection of the bones and tissues that surround and support the teeth, then tooth extraction may be needed.
What You Can Expect With a Tooth Extraction
A tooth extraction can be done by a general dentist or an oral surgeon. Before the extraction, a local anesthetic will be administered around the tooth being pulled. If more than one tooth is being extracted, your dentist or oral surgeon will likely recommend a stronger intravenous sedative. This willcause you to sleep through the procedure.
Things are a bit more complicated with teeth that are impacted. It may be necessary to cut away gum and bone tissue that covers the tooth. Teeth that are very hard to pull may be cut into pieces. Once the extraction has been done, it is normal for a blood clot to form in the socket where the tooth was. The dentist or oral surgeon will apply a gauze pad in the socket to stop the bleeding.
If the blood clot breaks, the bone in the socket will be exposed. This condition is called a dry socket, and it is quite painful. Be sure and let your dentist know if this condition develops.
Being Upfront With Your Dentist Prior to Tooth Extraction
While tooth extraction is a common and safe procedure, it can allow bacteria to get into your bloodstream, and gum tissue can also become infected. If you have certain conditions, that put you at a higher than average risk for infection, you may need antibiotics. It’s important to share your medical history with your dentist before a tooth extraction, as well as any medications and supplements you are currently taking. It is imperative a dentist know if you have any of these conditions:
- Liver disease
- An artificial joint
- An immune system that is impaired
- A congenital heart defect
- Man-made heart valves
After the Tooth Extraction
It should only take a few days to fully recover from a tooth extraction. Your dentist may prescribe pain killers for you to take to help manage the pain, though most patients do fine with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Keep changing the gauze pad as needed. Be sure to bite down on it firmly, but not too hard, to stop any bleeding. An ice bag placed on the side of your face where the extraction took place can reduce swelling. Be sure to avoid smoking, drinking from a straw, and to only eat soft foods.
If you experience any signs of infection such as a fever or chills, call us. Also check the extraction site for redness, swelling, or discharge. Call your dentist if any of this occurs.
If you have a tooth that you think is beyond repair, and you think you may need a tooth extraction, you need to talk with a dentist with experience and a proven track record. You will find that at Newport Beach Dentistry. Our team has over 30 years of experience providing a variety of tooth extractions, including impacted teeth. Our caring staff will make you feel comfortable and throughout your treatment.
Located at 1401 Avocado Avenue, Suite 209, Newport Beach, California, 92660, Newport Beach Dentistry can take care of any oral health needs you have. We listen to the concerns of each of our patients, so that we can provide the best possible service. We also accept most insurance plans.
If you need a tooth extraction, or any other dental procedure, give us a call at (949) 644-9181.