Healthy Smiles Premier Dental
Extracting a tooth is sometimes the best way to improve your oral health and 20 million teeth are surgically removed each year in the U.S. Half of these are wisdom teeth in the back of the mouth that emerge in such a way that they cause overcrowding and these are usually taken out before they are fully formed, ages 13-20. This prevents significant problems with keeping that part of the mouth clean of oral bacteria.
But there are many other good reasons for tooth extraction:
- A car or sports accident could knock one or more loose enough that replacement needs to start with removal.
- A tooth might have become broken beyond repair.
- In checking under a dental crown, severe decay might be discovered and the tooth has to be taken out.
- If someone has not seen a dentist in a long time and a physical exam finds that poor dental hygiene has caused periodontal disease to eat away at the gum support for teeth, they need to be extracted.
- Before proceeding with orthodontic treatment, teeth that are not in the right position for the results that are needed can be extracted.
Tooth Extraction can be Painless
The way extraction is done by Dr. Doostan is painless. After applying a variety of appropriate anesthetics, he uses special tools to loosen any leftover part of a tooth before removing it. Afterwards, gauze will be packed into the socket to stop the bleeding and you can just bite down on that for up to an hour as a clot is formed. Prescription medication will manage any immediate discomfort, followed by over-the-counter pain relievers.
The Post-Procedure Process
Equally important is the post-procedure participation in the healing process by the patient. This starts with an ice pack that is held on and off every 10 minutes on the outside of the face nearest the socket for the rest of the day to minimize swelling (packages of frozen vegetables can be an adequate substitute). Do not go out or do anything active for at least 24 hours (if you can relax for 48 hours, that is better). At night, sleep with an extra pillow to keep the head elevated.
Naturally, you should stick to soft foods (yogurt, pudding, applesauce, ripe bananas, soup) for three days. Avoid hot foods and beverages during this time, as well as anything crunchy or hard. It is also important not to use a straw or to spit for 24 hours, since these could loosen the clot (smoothies are fine if eaten with a spoon).
You can brush and floss normally away from the extraction site, but it can take a week or two for it to fully heal. When it is, discuss with Dr. Doostan what your best options (such as dental implants) are for preventing the misalignment of other teeth, since they tend to move to “fill the gap.”