Having damaged or decayed teeth are the two top reasons for tooth extractions. Also, if teeth are not properly aligned, or if a tooth cannot pass through the gums, it will have to be removed. Other reasons for tooth extraction include:
- Infected teeth or gums (tooth decay)
- Overcrowding of teeth (teeth are too big for the mouth)
- Periodontal (Gum) disease
- Risk of infection (surrounding a tooth or people with high-risk health issues such as cancer)
- Severe pain caused by an impacted (jammed, wedged or crushed) tooth
What is the procedure?
The procedure does not take long. A general anesthetic will be used to numb the area where the tooth needs to be removed. The anesthesia helps prevent pain. If you have an impacted tooth, the gum and bone tissue that covers the tooth will need to be cut.
Forceps may be used to loosen the tooth for an extraction. A blood clot forms in the socket where the tooth has been pulled. Normally, the bleeding socket is padded with gauze and you must bite down on it to stop the bleeding. Depending on the size of the wound, you may need stitches to the socket to close the gum edges over the extraction site.
Before undergoing a tooth extraction you must inform Dr. Elliott of your medical history. Having ongoing health issues can lead to further health risks. You should also alert them of all prescribed medications and/or supplements. Some health issues that may put you further risk include:
- Artificial Joints
- Heart disease
- HIV or AIDS
- Impaired immune system
- Liver disease
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
You will experience some discomfort after the extraction. It may take a few days for you to recover. Dr. Elliott will provide you with aftercare instructions and prescribe painkillers to minimize your pain. Your rate of recovery depends on you following these tips:
- Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction
- After 24 hours, rinse your mouth with a salt and warm water solution
- Change gauze pads before they become soaked with blood
- Do not drink from a straw for 24 hours
- Do not smoke
- Eat soft foods only
- Apply ice to the affected area to help keep down the swelling.
- Brush and floss your teeth but be sure to avoid the extraction area
Schedule an appointment for a consultation
Dr. Melissa Elliott and the team at Harford County Dentistry are committed to helping patients achieve and maintain good oral hygiene and health. Don’t wait until you are in severe pain to schedule a visit. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.