When is a tooth extraction necessary?
In many cases, tooth extraction is needed due to a tooth being poorly positioned or non-functional. Other instances that may require a tooth extraction include:
- Broken or cracked teeth that cannot be repaired
- Teeth that have become extensively decayed
- Teeth that are affected by advanced periodontal disease
Tooth extraction may be necessary in order to protect the health of your remaining teeth, as well as your gums and the underlying bone supporting your teeth.
What is involved in a tooth extraction?
Before performing a tooth extraction, your dentist will numb the tooth and surrounding area with a local anesthetic. In some cases, you may be given a general, stronger general anesthetic. Your dentist will then loosen the ligaments around the tooth before pulling or cutting the tooth out. In some cases, you may need stitches. Your dentist may recommend that the extracted tooth or teeth be replaced. In this case, you will need to return for another appointment where you can be fitted with a dental implant, a partial denture or a dental bridge.
After an extraction
The recovery period following a tooth extraction usually only lasts a day or two. During this time, there are several steps that you can take to help speed your recovery and keep yourself more comfortable:
- Reduce your physical activity
- After the first 24 hours, rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling
- Take painkillers as prescribed by the dentist
- Keep your head slightly elevated when lying down
- Avoid smoking
- Eat soft foods such as soup, pudding or gelatin
- Change gauze pads as often as needed
If you needed stitches following your tooth extraction, you may need to return to have them removed after several days. Your dentist will let you know if this is the case and will provide you with special instructions regarding caring for your gums for the day or two following the removal of your stitches.
No one looks forward to an extraction, but at times they are a necessary procedure in order to preserve the health of your remaining teeth and gums. Should a tooth extraction become necessary, you can be sure that the caring professionals at Buckner Family Dental will make every effort to keep you as comfortable as possible both during and after the procedure.