While the thought of having a tooth or teeth extracted can be scary, they are a common and efficient procedure. When everything has been done to save an existing permanent tooth, sometimes it may need to be extracted. A tooth extraction removes the tooth fully from its socket in the bone. This is sometimes necessary in circumstances of decay, or a loose or a broken tooth that cannot be repaired. At Deerfield Family Dentistry we are experts at tooth extractions without pain. After your procedure, you may experience mild discomfort or sensitivity, but nothing that won’t subside in a few days.
More advanced extractions are wisdom tooth extractions. Most people have four wisdom teeth that begin to grow through the gums in the late teen years. Some people’s wisdom teeth don’t emerge at all. Wisdom teeth can cause problems as they begin to emerge through the gums. An impacted wisdom tooth is coming in at an angle and not straight through the gums The impacted tooth can cause pain, as the tooth may come in unevenly, or only partially emerge. X-rays and an oral exam will reveal impacted wisdom teeth.
When a wisdom tooth only emerges partially a flap of skin can form over the tooth, making the tooth difficult to clean and this increases the risk of infection. An infection in this area can cause painful swelling. Eliminating the risk of these infections is the main reason dentists recommend having wisdom teeth removed.
One, two, three or all four wisdom teeth may be removed. Dr. Pike will discuss the best course of treatment with patients who require wisdom tooth extraction(s). Your comfort during the procedure is extremely important to Dr. Pike. A local anesthetic will be used to numb the areas of extraction.
The actual procedure consists of making an incision in the gum around the wisdom tooth. Once the tooth is revealed it is gripped tightly and loosened until it can be lifted out. If the tooth is impacted and cannot be lifted straight out, the tooth will be broken into smaller pieces and then removed. After the tooth is removed, the gums may need to be stitched closed.
After surgery the most important thing to do is rest! Have a friend or family member take you home after surgery (because of the anesthesia). The gums at the extraction site will bleed and it’s necessary to change the gauze if blood soaks through. It’s important to rest with the head propped up, to slow any bleeding. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call the office. If you are in pain, take the prescribed pain medication as directed. You can also use an ice pack on the face to reduce swelling. After surgery you are limited to soft foods, like thin soup, pudding, mashed potatoes, yogurt, ice cream and any food you can eat without chewing.
When drinking, do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your stitches and impair the clotting process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don’t feel that the extraction site is healing properly don’t hesitate to call Dr. Pike for a follow up.