Your dentist will do whatever it takes to preserve your natural teeth so you can keep them for as long as possible. But there are some situations where it makes the most sense to have a tooth removed.
There are many different reasons tooth extraction can be the best option. Perhaps a tooth has been damaged by decay or trauma, and it is beyond repair. Sometimes when orthodontic plans are underway, crowding can be an issue, and there just isn’t enough room so a tooth might need to be removed to create space. In other situations, a stubborn baby tooth might not come out, which could impede the progress of the adult teeth trying to grow in.
Whatever the reason for the extraction, you want to make sure you see a dentist who is experienced, gentle, and compassionate. You will be in good hands with Dr. Hema Srinivasan of Town Square Family Dentistry.
The Tooth Extraction Process
Before extracting any tooth, Dr. Hema will take an x-ray so she can see the position of the tooth root and make an assessment of the condition of the bone around it. She will also review your medical history and ask about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you might be taking.
Tooth extraction is usually performed with local anesthetic, so the tooth to be removed as well as the surrounding bone and gum tissues will be numbed. Nitrous oxide can also be used at the patient’s request.
Dr. Hema will use a forceps to gently rock the tooth back and forth to keep the bone intact. If a tooth is particularly difficult to remove, it might be extracted in several pieces.
After the extraction, you will be asked to bite down on a gauze pad to help stop the bleeding. Soon after the procedure, a clot will form at the extraction site.
Self-Care After the Extraction
Most people report only some discomfort after the extraction, so nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen can typically control most symptoms. You can use ice packs on the outside of your jaw to relieve swelling. You might get a prescription for antibiotics to ensure your healing takes place without the risk of infection.
Take a break from normal activities for a few days after the procedure and get plenty of rest. Stick to soft foods such as yogurt, applesauce, and soup in the days immediately after the extraction. As the extraction site begins to heal, you can introduce other foods into your diet.
Avoid drinking out of a straw or smoking cigarettes as the sucking motion of these activities can dislodge the clot that has formed over the site. This is a painful condition known as “dry socket.”
Call Town Square Family Dentistry for gentle, painless tooth extractions. We will take good care of you from start to finish!