While our goal at Blue Summit Dental Group is to help you maintain all of your natural teeth, sometimes a tooth extraction may be necessary. Although permanent teeth were meant to last a lifetime, Dr. Ralph Becker may recommend an extraction if a tooth is too badly injured due to trauma or decay. Other reasons for extraction include:
• Infection—Gum disease is an infection that targets the connective tissues and supporting bone that keeps your tooth in place. If the infection remains untreated, the damage will become irreversible, and your tooth will lose the support needed to withstand the pressures of your bite. Extraction may be the only way to prevent the spread of infection.
• Teeth crowding—Occasionally, a tooth must be extracted to make room for the rest of your smile. If your teeth are too big or your ridge is too small, an extraction may be necessary for orthodontic reasons. Extra teeth can also prevent other teeth from properly erupting.
• Risk of infection—For patients with a compromised immune system, specifically those undergoing radiation treatment or taking cancer medication, the risk of infection may be reason enough to pull a tooth.
• Wisdom teeth—Also called third molars, wisdom teeth can cause significant complications with the rest of your permanent teeth. Most of our jaws simply do not have enough room to accommodate a third set of molars. Extractions of the wisdom teeth tend to be more complicated than other extractions, and often involve oral surgery.
Simple Extraction procedure
In preparation for an extraction, Dr. Ralph Becker will take x-rays and review your dental history. A comprehensive exam will help us diagnose, plan, and treat a problematic tooth. Once we have determined that extraction is necessary, we can move forward with the rest of the procedure.
Most extractions, except those that involve wisdom teeth, are known as simple extractions. A simple extraction is performed on a tooth that can be seen in the mouth. In other words, it has already erupted. During a simple extraction, Dr. Ralph Becker will inject a local anesthetic into the area to eliminate pain and discomfort. Next, Dr. Ralph Becker will loosen the tooth using an instrument known as an elevator. The elevator separates the tooth from the connective tissues and supporting bone. Once the tooth is loose enough, Dr. Ralph Becker will remove it using an instrument known as forceps. After the tooth is out, a blood clot usually forms in the socket. To stop the bleeding, we will pack the socket with a gauze pad. In some cases, we may also stitch the gum edges over the extraction site.
Following an Extraction
After your extraction, Dr. Ralph Becker will give you a set of detailed post-operative instructions. If you have any questions, be sure to ask them before you leave our office. Most pain will disappear after a few days. Starting 24 hours after surgery, gentle rinse with warm salt water to keep the area clean.
Be sure to eat soft, cool foods for the first few days. Dr. Ralph Becker may recommend warm compresses to reduce soreness. You can also put ice packs on your face to reduce swelling. Most bleeding and swelling will subside within a day or two.
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