Tooth extractions are a common dental procedure performed at Open Wide La Jolla in La Jolla, CA. There could be a variety of reasons why a patient may need a tooth extraction, such as pain or discomfort that medications cannot subside or when alternative dental procedures cannot fix the tooth. After a thorough exam and exhausting all other treatment options, Dr. Chad Dains can determine if a tooth extraction is the recommended procedure for your individual situation.
What is a Tooth Extraction?
A tooth extraction is an outpatient dental procedure during which your tooth is completely removed from its socket. Tooth extractions are fairly common and are meant to relieve patients who are experiencing tooth pain or discomfort and need relief.
Type of Tooth Extractions
There are two types of tooth extractions:
This extraction is performed on teeth that are broken, partially erupted, or above the gumline wisdom teeth. To get through your tooth extraction without any pain and minimal discomfort, a dentist injects a local anesthetic into the soft tissue of the mouth to completely numb the teeth and gums. Once the area is numb, the tooth is loosened and removed through tools called an elevator and forceps.
A surgical extraction is for either fully or partially impacted teeth. Like a traditional extraction, a local anesthetic is administered. But unlike a traditional extraction, the dentist makes an incision along the gumline. The newly exposed tooth gets cut into sections. Finally, forceps remove each piece.
At times, performed alongside a surgical tooth extraction, are bone grafts. Bone grafts place new bone into the open socket immediately after a tooth has been removed. The extraction site is then closed up and the bone tissue can grow and regenerate to fill the empty space left behind.
Reasons for a Tooth Extraction
While a tooth is likely to need removal because of pain or discomfort, there are other reasons why Dr. Chad Dains may recommend the procedure as part of your treatment plan. Below is a list of reasons why we may decide to remove one or more teeth:
- Overcrowded mouth
- Excessive decay
- Deep infection
- Partially erupted
- Loose from gum disease
- Prepare for braces
- Wisdom teeth
When it comes to this last reason, impacted wisdom teeth may need to be extracted if they cause problems such as pain, infection or gum disease, damage to bone or a nearby tooth, or any other reason a dentist sees fit.
What to Expect From a Tooth Extraction
For patients who have never had a tooth extraction done before, they may have several questions. Such as:
1. Does it hurt?
For most patients, the pain of a tooth extraction is tolerable. However, medications besides anesthetic are available, such as laughing gas, for those with a low pain tolerance or dental anxiety.
The type of tooth extraction performed, how many teeth were removed, and the extraction location may also determine pain level.
2. How will it heal?
It is normal if patients experience a little bit of bleeding in the 24 hours following the procedure. Swelling and mild pain is also normal and nothing to be concerned about. Patients may experience dry sockets. If their pain worsens two or three days after the dental extraction, they should notify their dentist as soon as possible.
Without complications, a patient’s mouth will heal as new gum tissue grows over the empty socket. This tissue will grow in the following one to two weeks after the procedure, but it will still take several weeks to heal completely.
3. What needs to be avoided?
After a tooth extraction, it is best to avoid certain activities such as rinsing, spitting, sucking, and smoking. This is to reduce further complications after the procedure, such as the aforementioned dry socket. These activities can disrupt the formation of the empty socket’s blood clot, exposing the nerve and bone. This is a painful condition but can be treated.
4. What is the aftercare?
For the aftercare, most patients will be prescribed pain medication which they will take for the first few days as needed. A liquid diet will be recommended while the mouth is still numb, although the patient can move on to soft foods once the numbness has worn off. After a few days, the patient can return to solids.
Make an Appointment Today
As a trusted dental provider in La Jolla, CA, Dr. Chad Dains will work closely with you to ensure you know what to expect before, during and after a tooth extraction so that you’d be smiling quickly again.
Contact us or make an appointment today if you are experiencing tooth pain or think you may need a tooth extraction.