While we should try to prevent our permanent teeth from falling out, it is sometimes recommended to have them professionally removed for the sake of your oral health. Wisdom teeth, as well as permanent teeth that have experienced extensive decay or trauma, are commonly extracted to prevent further dental complications. A patient may also require extraction to correct overcrowding in preparation for orthodontic care. Unlike many general dentists who do not perform surgical extractions and require a referral to a specialist, the dentists at Gentle Care Dentistry routinely perform routine/simple extractions as well as surgical extractions. During your dental consultation, your dentist will go over your options and decide whether removal is necessary.
Reasons to Consider Extraction
- Tooth decay
- Periodontal or gum disease
Before the extraction procedure begins, your dentist may take an X-ray image of the area to help plan the best approach to removing the tooth. Immediately before the procedure, your dentist will administer an anesthetic to numb the treatment site, which will ensure that the treatment is comfortable. Depending on your dentist’s recommendation and your preference, you may receive a local anesthetic or dental sedation.
A simple extraction is appropriate when the tooth is easily visible in the mouth. The dentist will use forceps to gently wiggle the tooth back and forth until it is loosened and removed.
Surgical extraction may be necessary if the tooth is impacted, is hidden under the gums, or has broken off at the gumline. During this procedure, your dentist will make a small incision on the gums to reveal the targeted tooth. Your dentist will then use forceps to loosen the tooth and remove it from the gums. In some cases, the tooth may be tightly impacted, requiring your dentist to break it into smaller pieces before removing it. Your dentist may close the incision with dissolvable sutures.
If you receive general anesthesia, you will be unable to drive and will need a friend or family member to take you home. You can expect some bleeding after extraction surgery, and you will need to change your gauze as it becomes saturated. You must call your dentist if you experience prolonged bleeding that lasts over 24 hours. After your procedure, you will need to get plenty of rest. Lying down with your head elevated will help minimize bleeding and swelling, and prescription medication will help relieve any discomfort. Additionally, your dentist may provide you with a cleaning solution to keep the extraction site clean while it heals.
Eating after Extraction
For a few days after tooth extraction, you should limit your intake to liquids and soft foods. You should also refrain from smoking tobacco and using a straw when drinking, as the suction can loosen your sutures, slow the clotting process, and impede healing. Typically, any foods that you can eat without chewing are safe to consume during your recovery. Some of the recommended foods include:
- Mashed potatoes
- Ice cream and sorbet
- Thin soups