If you have a tooth extraction coming up, you’re probably a little nervous, especially if this is your first time having a tooth pulled. Contrary to popular belief, tooth extraction is not painful and is a relatively quick procedure. To help you feel more at ease with the procedure at Washington Court House Dental, we want to give you a good idea of what you can expect.
What is a Tooth Extraction?
Also known as pulling a tooth, tooth extraction is a procedure to remove a tooth from the gum socket if the tooth has been damaged past the point of repair and other restorative options like dental fillings or crowns. There are two types of tooth extraction: a simple tooth extraction which involves the removal of teeth that are visible in the mouth, and a surgical tooth extraction which involves the removal of teeth that are not easily accessible inside the mouth. A surgical extraction is often recommended if the tooth has not erupted through the gum completely or has been fractured under the gum line.
Common reasons why you may have a tooth pulled include:
- Tooth injury from trauma
- A deep infection in a tooth (abscess)
- Overcrowded or poorly positioned teeth
- Gum disease that loosens or damages teeth
- Impacted teeth that are causing problems, such as wisdom teeth (third molars)
What Does a Tooth Extraction Procedure Look Like?
Dental extraction is a simple procedure that is normally completed within an hour. Here are the steps involved in the tooth extraction process:
- Exam and X-rays: First, Dr. Pappas will assess the affected tooth and surrounding gums and then take dental X-rays to check bone levels and determine the extent of the damage.
- Anesthesia: We’ll then administer local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth so you do not feel pain. Suppose you have dental anxiety or are undergoing a surgical extraction. In that case, there are several sedation options, such as nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation, to make you comfortable and relaxed.
- Pulling the Tooth Out: For a simple tooth extraction, Dr. Pappas will loosen the tooth in the gum using a tooth removal instrument called an elevator and use forceps to pull the tooth out from the gum. During a surgical extraction, we’ll cut into your gum with a small incision and remove bone around your tooth or cut it before it can be extracted.
- Socket Cleaning: After the extraction, we’ll clean the socket and disinfect it, place a thick layer of gauze over the extraction site, and have you bite on it to stop the bleeding and start the clotting process.
What are the Risks of a Tooth Extraction?
There are a few risks associated with tooth extraction. However, if your dentist recommends the procedure, the benefits likely outweigh the small chance of complications. Common risks associated with tooth extraction include:
- Bruising and swelling at the site of the extraction
- Post-surgical infection
- Dry socket
- Nerve injury
- Perforation of maxillary sinus
- Delayed healing
Aftercare and Recovery
You must follow your dentist’s post-extraction instructions to help reduce discomfort, avoid the risks mentioned above, and promote healing. Here are some tips for faster healing and recovery:
- Do not touch the extraction site with your fingers or tongue.
- Avoid smoking or alcoholic beverages for 24 hours, as this can adversely affect your healing time.
- Do not drink from a straw for the first 24 hours, as this may dislodge the clot, resulting in a dry socket.
- Limit strenuous physical activity for the next 24 hours, as it may result in the dislodgment of the clot.
- Eat soft foods, such as yogurt or soup, for two days after the extraction, then gradually add solid foods to your diet as the extraction site heals. Also, chew from the other side for the next few days.
- Avoid rinsing your mouth vigorously, so you don’t dislodge your clot.
- Place an ice pack over the affected side of the face – this will help minimize discomfort and swelling.
Schedule Your Appointment Today!
Tooth extraction is a safe and usually pain-free procedure when done by an experienced dentist in Washington Court House, OH. Dr. Pappas is committed to providing the best possible dental care during and after your tooth extraction to ensure proper healing. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!