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The Tooth Extraction Procedure and Recovery
A tooth extraction becomes vital when a tooth has been damaged by decay or injury and cannot be repaired with a filling, crown, root canal therapy, or other treatment. Dr. Ron L. Shiver offers sedation options to make the procedure as comfortable as possible. After extracting a tooth, Dr. Shiver can suggest several restorative options to replace the missing tooth so you can avoid additional complications.
When is Tooth Extraction Needed?
In general, it is usually better for a patient’s oral health to preserve a permanent tooth rather than extract it. While extracting a tooth can address certain concerns, such as sensitivity or pain, it can create additional complications that must be addressed with a restoration such as a bridge or dental implants. Some circumstances, however, do not require replacing the extracted tooth.
The most common reasons for tooth extraction include:
- Creating space for a permanent tooth when the primary tooth has not yet fallen out
- Removing excess teeth that are preventing additional teeth from erupting
- Root canal therapy failed to eliminate the infection in a tooth
- Preparing for orthodontic treatment
- Advanced periodontitis, or gum disease
- Damage from injury resulting in a cracked or broken tooth
Dr. Shiver is also able to remove wisdom teeth. In complex cases, such as impaction, he may choose to refer you to a trusted oral surgeon or other specialist.
A Closer Look at the Procedure
After Dr. Shiver determines extraction is the right solution, he will administer a local anesthetic, which will numb the affected tooth, as well as the surrounding teeth and gums. To make patients more comfortable during the procedure, he also offers nitrous oxide and oral sedatives.
A tooth extraction becomes vital when a tooth has been damaged by decay or injury and cannot be repaired.
To remove the tooth, he will begin by gently rocking it back and forth. This widens the socket and loosens the tooth from the tissues holding it in place. In limited circumstances, he may need to section the tooth into pieces to remove it. Once the tooth is sufficiently loosened, he will carefully lift it from the socket. To minimize bleeding, he will have you bite down on gauze.
Recovery and Aftercare Instructions
You may need to take a few days off from work while you recover. Dr. Shiver may prescribe antibiotics and pain medication to reduce your risk of infection and to minimize your pain. You can keep swelling and bruising to a minimum by applying a cold compress to the area. Rinsing your mouth with saltwater or a prescription mouthwash will keep your mouth clean and further reduce your risk of infection.
It may take one to two weeks to heal. During this time, you should avoid strenuous activity, smoking, and drinking through a straw. For the first week, limit your diet to soft foods so you do not disturb the empty socket. You should also let food cool down considerably before eating, as those tissues are more sensitive during the healing phase.
Following Dr. Shiver’s post-operative instructions will significantly reduce your risk of complications. Once you have healed, he will discuss your options for replacing the extracted tooth. Most patients choose either a traditional dental bridge or dental implants and an implant-supported restoration.
Contact Us for an Appointment
If you have a badly decayed or injured tooth, contact our office right away to schedule an appointment. You can reach out to us online or call (229) 247-0923.