When is Tooth Extraction Considered?
Your dentist at Christie Dental will exhaust all possible options to save your natural teeth wherever possible. In certain situations, however, extraction may be the only sensible route. Below are a couple of the typical scenarios where tooth extraction may be considered to be the best option…
A Tooth is Beyond Restoration
When the damage to a tooth is so extensive that it’s no longer possible for your dentist to use repair procedures such as fillings or dental crowns or where these procedures are outside of a person’s finances, the only option for the patient may be to have the tooth extracted. These are the most common reasons for having a tooth removed.
Crowding occurs when there is not enough space in your jaws for all of your teeth to fit neatly. Teeth crowding can be a factor for other related issues developing such as tooth decay, gum disease and teeth misalignment. There are several ways for your dentist to tackle your teeth crowding problem. Often, the treatment will involve the extraction of a tooth/teeth to relieve the crowding. The dentist will remove the tooth or teeth that are to relieve crowded whilst ensuring the extraction process is as pain free as possible.
Pre Extraction Preparation
Your dentist will often begin by taking an x-ray of the tooth to be extracted. This is an important step in the process as it enables your dentist to check the shape of the tooth root and surrounding bone. It will also help your dentist to identify any signs of infection that are present.
Once it has been determined that an extraction is necessary, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth with a local anaesthetic. This is where the tooth and the tissues around the tooth are made numb by injection
Post Extraction Advice
After your tooth has been extracted, it’s important to follow your dentist’s advice below on how to manage your tooth socket. This will help to minimise any pain or discomfort experienced after the anaesthetic wears off. Here are some recommendations below;
- A medicated pack is often applied into the socket and this will dissolve as you heal so you need do nothing
- Bite on the gauze your dentist provides you with for at roughly twenty to thirty minutes following extraction. The pressure applied helps to stop bleeding in the socket of the extracted tooth.
- Gently bathe your mouth with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt 3-4 times a day for 3 days beginning the day after your extraction.
- You may need medication depending on each situation – your dentist will advise
- Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours post extraction as this can result in causing more bleeding which in turn will delay the healing process. Smoking can cause a very painful condition infection called dry socket so avoid smoking if at all possible for 2/3 days after the extraction.
- You may continue to brush your teeth as normal but avoid directly brushing over the extraction site for a minimum of three days. Continue to rinse with salt water after meals until recovery is complete.
Dental Extraction Recovery Process
Please be aware that your dentist can give you a prescription for pain relief if necessary but over the counter (OTC) options such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) may also suffice. If stitches were used following the extraction, they will typically dissolve on their own within five to seven days but do keep the area clean and dry in order to avoid infection. Some sutures will need to be removed typically after 7 days.