Occasionally, a tooth may have too much damage to repair. When this occurs, an extraction is recommended. Periodontal disease (bone loss) around a tooth can cause the tooth to require an extraction. This helps keep the disease from spreading to surrounding teeth. Because implants fuse to your bone, they provide stable support for teeth. Dentures mounted to implants won’t slip or shift in your mouth — an especially important advantage while eating and speaking. This secure fit helps the dentures feel more natural and stable than conventional dentures.
What to expect
Dentists and oral surgeons (dentists with special training to perform surgery) perform tooth extractions. Before pulling the tooth, your dentist will give you an injection of a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. In some instances, your dentist may use a strong general anesthetic. This will prevent pain throughout your body and make you sleep through the procedure.
If the tooth is impacted, the dentist will cut away gum and bone tissue that cover the tooth and then, using forceps, grasp the tooth and gently rock it back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone and ligaments that hold it in place. Sometimes, a hard-to-pull tooth must be removed in pieces.
Partial dentures are an appropriate solution when the other teeth in your mouth are healthy. It is always preferable to keep your natural teeth, however, if this is not an option, a full denture may be the right solution for you. DDS Dentures + Implant Solutions also offers the All-In-One dental implant solution – a more permanent, implant-based solution that “fixes” your dentures in place.
Why are teeth removed?
While many teens and some adults get their wisdom teeth removed, there are other reasons why tooth extraction may be necessary in adulthood.
Excessive tooth decay, tooth infection, and crowding can all require a tooth extraction. Those who get braces may need one or two teeth removed to provide room for their other teeth as they shift into place. Additionally, those who are undergoing chemotherapy or are about to have an organ transplant may need compromised teeth removed in order to keep their mouth healthy.
Tooth extraction is performed by a dentist or oral surgeon and is a relatively quick outpatient procedure with either local, general, intravenous anesthesia, or a combination. Removing visible teeth is a simple extraction. Teeth that are broken, below the surface, or impacted require a more involved procedure.
What is the recovery period from a tooth extraction?
It normally takes a few days to recover after a tooth extraction. The following steps help ensure that your recovery goes smoothly.
Apply an ice pack to your cheek directly after the procedure to reduce swelling. Use the ice pack for 10 minutes each time.
After the dentist places the gauze pad over the affected area, bite down to reduce bleeding and to aid in clot formation. Leave the gauze on for three to four hours, or until the pad is soaked with blood.
Take any medications as prescribed, including over-the-counter painkillers.
Rest and relax for the first 24 hours. Do not jump immediately into your regular routine the following day.
Don’t use a straw for the first 24 hours.
Don’t rinse for 24 hours after the tooth extraction, and spit only gently.
Use pillows to prop your head up when you lie down.
Brush and floss your teeth like normal, but avoid the extraction site.
The day after the procedure, eat soft foods, such as yogurt, pudding, and applesauce.
After 24 hours, add a half-teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of warm water to rinse out your mouth.
As you heal over the next few days, you can slowly reintroduce other foods into your diet.