Tooth Removal

Tooth extractionOne of the many procedures done in our office is tooth removal. The removal of teeth can be necessary for a number of reasons, including:

  • Too much damage to tooth to be repaired
  • Baby teeth that don’t fall out
  • 3rd molars (Wisdom Teeth) impacted (wedged between the jaw and another tooth or teeth)
  • May be needed to create room for other teeth (such as when you’re getting braces)
  • Infection

Prior to Tooth Removal

In preparation for the procedure, we will obtain a full medical and dental history, as well as a list of all medications you take. This includes any vitamins, supplements, or over-the-counter drugs, as well as any medications you are allergic to.

An x-ray is then taken to assess the best way to remove the affected tooth.

You may be required to take antibiotics before or after the procedure, depending on the duration of the procedure, or if you have a specific medical condition. We will discuss this with you if necessary.

Day of Appointment

At the time of surgery, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth or teeth to be extracted with a local anesthetic, specifically numbing the affected tooth or teeth, your jawbone and the surrounding gums.

During the simple removal process it is common to feel a lot of pressure. The affected tooth is firmly wiggled back and forth so as to loosen it for removal. You should not feel any pain, just pressure. If, for any reason, you feel pain, please notify your dentist immediately so that they can administer more numbing agent.

After The Tooth Is Removed

After the removal you will be asked to bite down on a piece of gauze for 20-30 minutes. This pressure helps to form a blood clot in the removal site, a crucial part of the healing process. Be careful not to dislodge the clot.

It is common to have a small amount of bleeding 24 hours after removal. We will provide you with detailed instructions after your procedure, but here are some important things to remember:

Medications/Pain Management

  • Take pain medication as prescribed and recommended by your dentist
  • Research has shown that taking anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ibuprofen (NSAIDs) greatly decrease pain after a removal
  • Using an ice pack on your jaw can reduce swelling. 10 minutes on and 20 minutes off is standard for the first 24 hours. A warm compress can be used if your jaw is sore after the swelling has gone down

Eating/Drinking

  • Eat soft and cool foods for the first few days
  • Avoid hot foods and alcoholic beverages for the first 24 hours
  • Chew food away from the removal site
  • Do not use a straw or spit after removal. This can cause the blood cut to dislodge, greatly delaying healing

Brushing/Cleaning

  • Avoid brushing the area around the  site for the first 24 hours
  • Avoid using antiseptic and commercial mouth rinses – they can irritate the removal site
  • 24 hours after surgery you can rinse with warm salt water after each meal and before bedtime (1/2 teaspoon in one cup of warm water)

Healing

The removal site will generally close up in about 2 weeks’ time, but it can take three to six months for the bone and soft tissue to regrow. Remember, tooth removal is a common procedure and our caring team has years of experience helping patients through this easy treatment.

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