There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and it must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt.
At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth and jaw at risk, so we may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.
The root of each tooth is encased within your jawbone in a “tooth socket,” and your tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, an oral surgeon must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament that holds it in place. In some cases, a root is curved or very long, and the tooth socket cannot be widened enough to remove the tooth as a whole. In this case, the oral surgeon will section the tooth to remove it in pieces.
Though the extraction procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share with our office any concerns or preferences for sedation. We generally utilize a local anesthetic for simple tooth extractions. During the extraction, you will not feel any pain, but you will feel pressure.
Once a tooth has been removed, you will need to place pressure on the area so a clot can form. After the clot has formed, do not rinse vigorously, suck on a straw, smoke, drink alcohol, or brush your teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. That could dislodge the clot and lead to excessive bleeding.
If you experience pain and swelling, apply an ice pack to the area and take pain medications as prescribed by the doctor. Any residual swelling and discomfort should disappear in a few days. If it doesn’t, contact our office.