An extraction is performed to remove a tooth, whether because of disease, crowding, or damage. When extractions are required, the area around the tooth will be numbed and your doctor will remove the tooth. A small amount of bleeding is normal, as your mouth will replace the removed tooth root by forming a blood clot in the area.

Caring for your mouth after an extraction is very important. Your doctor will outline how you should care for the area of the extraction. It is important to allow your mouth time to heal, so avoid activities like smoking, drinking through a straw, or eating foods that may aggravate the area.

If you experience any complications, like excessive swelling, be sure to call your doctor right away. Your doctor may also recommend pain medication when appropriate. While you can care for your other teeth as normal, be careful not to clean the teeth next to the extraction.

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, visit our office today so we can determine if you need an extraction. Delaying a consultation can worsen the situation and require longer recovery times.

Dental Extractions

The main objective of dentistry is to preserve your natural teeth and keep them as healthy as possible for the longest time possible. However, there are times when it is necessary to have one or more teeth extracted (removed). This may happen for many reasons including:

Trauma —There are several ways to try and save the tooth through conventional treatments. The damaged tooth might need a full-coverage crown, a root canal treatment, or both. When these are not an option, then a dental extraction is the solution.

Periodontal disease — If gum disease goes untreated for a long time, the underlying structures (gum and bone) that help hold your teeth in place will begin to deteriorate. A dental extraction may be the solution to spare the underlying supporting tissues and prepare for future dental implants.

High chance of future infection: Patient’s with a compromised immune system that are going through chemotherapy may benefit from removing a tooth that has a high risk of getting infected. Also patients that need heart or joint surgery need to clear up any dental infections before these procedures. It’s better to take care of the problem before it causes bigger problems.

Failed Root Canal: If the pulp inside a tooth is too severely affected, a root canal won’t be able to get rid of all the infection. In order to stop it from spreading to other adjacent teeth or the rest of your body, the tooth needs to be removed.

Orthodontic Treatment — Teeth are sometimes extracted as part of your overall treatment with dental braces. Some patients may have too many teeth for the size of the dental arches. This is known as dental crowding. We may need to extract one or more teeth in order to allow proper alignment for the other teeth. The teeth we most frequently remove for orthodontic reasons are the first premolars (these are the teeth right next to the eyeteeth or canines).

Wisdom teeth – Impacted Wisdom Teeth — Early removal of wisdom teeth can prevent damage to healthy teeth, bone, gum tissue, even nerves and blood vessels in the area. Wisdom teeth should also be removed to prevent shifting of other teeth. This is especially crucial if you have had dental braces.  If an impacted wisdom tooth is in a bad position, it’s best to remove it before its roots are fully formed to avoid problems with the underlying nerve.

Baby Teeth — If a baby tooth is not lost at the right time, this can create problems with the development of permanent teeth. The permanent tooth underneath it may not erupt normally. In this case, removing the baby tooth could prevent a need for orthodontic treatment and can help you avoid problems with your bite.

Before making any decisions on removing a tooth, our oral surgeons will examine you, review your digital x-rays, and discuss all the different treatment options for you.

What to Expect During Your Extraction

Tooth extraction is usually carried out with local anesthesia, which will numb the teeth to be removed, and the surrounding bone and gum tissues. Once you are numb, our oral surgeons will gently separate the tooth from the gum tissue and ligaments, and softly ease it out of its socket.  Steps are taken to ensure the bone that surrounds it isn’t damaged. Once the tooth is removed, the socket will be cleaned and stitched closed. Surgical dental extractions may require removal of the adjacent bone or breaking the tooth into smaller pieces in order to remove it. For more difficult extractions like surgical extractions, we offer different anesthesia options in addition to local anesthesia that will ensure that you are comfortable throughout the procedure.

Nitrous Oxide Gas (laughing gas)

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose. We use laughing gas to help you relax during your dental extraction.

IV Sedation

IV sedation is not general anesthesia. IV sedation is a form of anesthesia in which patients receive medications through an IV that will make them relaxed and comfortable in a safe manner. Patients who receive IV sedation do not require medical assistance to support life-giving functions, but their vital signs are still monitored. The patient also has the ability to respond to verbal commands under IV sedation, although their speech may be impaired. Because the drug delivers an amnesic effect, however, the patient is likely to have little or no memory of the dental procedure.

IV sedation is safe when done in the right environment. IV sedation is ideal for patients who are prone to anxiety or fear, or who possess a dental phobia, or just want to receive the important procedures with relative comfort.

For more information on IV sedation click here.

What to Expect After Your Extraction

After a dental extraction a blood clot will usually form in the socket where the tooth was removed. The extraction site should be kept clean and be monitored for signs of infection. We suggest you take your pain medication immediately after your procedure. Please avoid spitting or drinking through a straw as this may create suction and dislodge the clot that is forming in the extraction sites. We also suggest that you follow a soft food or liquid diet for at least one day after the extraction, and be careful when brushing your teeth to help the socket heal and prevent injury. Avoid smoking as this will impair healing in the area. The gums and bone usually heal 1 – 2 weeks after the extraction, but it may take up to six months before the extraction sites are fully healed.

For more detailed post-operative instructions click here.