What is an extraction?
An extraction is the removal of a tooth or teeth. Extractions are necessary for a variety of reasons. One reason for an extraction is when a tooth is beyond repair. This can be due to severe decay, abscesses/infection, periodontal disease, or dental trauma. Teeth can also be extracted due to crowding (braces and wisdom teeth).
Some teeth are more difficult to remove for several reasons. These reasons include: the tooth’s position (teeth in the back of the mouth are usually harder to reach, have multiple roots, and usually have more surface area), the shape of the tooth roots (roots of teeth that wrap around nerves, or roots that are curved, are more difficult to remove), and the integrity of the tooth (broken teeth usually break into several pieces during extraction due to the fact that the tooth is not intact to begin with).
What happens when a tooth is extracted?
Tooth extraction is usually relatively straightforward, and the vast majority can be usually performed quickly while the individual is awake by using local anesthetic injections. When an extraction is required, the area around the tooth will be numbed and Dr. Goodwin will remove the tooth. Local anesthetic blocks pain, but mechanical forces (pushing and pulling) are still felt.
Potential Complications after an Extraction:
A small amount of bleeding is normal with an extraction. The mouth will replace the extracted tooth root by forming a blood clot in the area. The blood clot is necessary for the area to heal. Sometimes sutures (stitches) are placed to help the area heal.
If the blood clot is dislodged, bleeding can restart, and it possible for alveolar osteitis (“dry socket”) to develop. “Dry socket” is a condition that can be very painful and can lead to delayed healing of the extraction site.
Post Extraction Care:
Caring for your mouth after an extraction is very important. Dr. Goodwin will give several guidelines to follow after the surgery of how to care for the area. By following the guidelines, the surgical area should heal properly. It is important to avoid activities like spitting, smoking, drinking through a straw, picking at the clot or stitches, or eating foods that may aggravate the area (these include hot foods, foods with sharp edges, and foods that will stick in the surgical area).
Warm salt water rinses will be recommended 24 hours after the extraction to keep the area clean and free from bacteria build up. Salt water rinses are made by mixing ¼ tsp of salt in warm water. The salt water is gently swished around the mouth for 15-20 seconds and then spit out. Rinses are done after meals and before bedtime.
It is important to keep the mouth clean. Patients are encourage to brush their other teeth, but are instructed to avoid the surgical area for 48-72 hours. Forceful spitting is to be avoided. Instead a gentle rinse with water is done.
Medications after an extraction:
Antibiotics may be prescribed to remove any residual infection. Most patients take Ibuprofen and Tylenol for pain management.
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, call our office today. We would love to help you schedule a consultation to determine if you need an extraction. Delaying a consultation can lead to complications and pain.