Tooth Extraction in Thornton, CO
When you have severe pain in your mouth from a tooth that is broken or that has a cavity, then a visit to the dentist is often needed to determine the extent of the damage. Sometimes, the tooth needs to be extracted in order to maintain the health of the surrounding teeth and the other components of your mouth. The goal behind the tooth extraction is to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during the procedure. There are a few different types of sedation that can be used depending on the severity of the tooth and your anxiety level.
Before and After a Tooth Extraction
One of the biggest fears that most people have when visiting the dentist is it will be a painful experience, especially when it comes extractions. There are a variety of reasons why a tooth may need to be extracted; it could be to resolve an infection or to prevent an infection. Tooth extractions may also be necessary if wisdom teeth have come in crooked or are causing you pain. In this article, we will detail the process of pulling a tooth and also take a closer look at why the dental procedure might be necessary.
Why An Infected Tooth Should Be Extracted
While infection can normally be resolved by taking antibiotics, there are instances where the infection associated with tooth decay has traveled to the pulp. In these cases, extraction is necessary to prevent the infection from spreading throughout the oral cavity. Tooth extraction is generally a last resort for most dentists, but if antibiotics are ineffective, it may be unavoidable. The same also applies to root canals in that they may not be as effective once an infection has reached the tooth’s pulp.
Extraction may also be necessary if gum disease has damaged the bone and tissue that support the teeth or has caused them to loosen.
What does Tooth Extraction Entail?
Tooth extractions can be performed by dentists or oral surgeons. Before the procedure gets underway, the practitioner will inject your gums with Novocaina numbing agent used to minimize pain. It should be noted that, in some cases, a general anesthetic may be used, which will induce sleep while also helping to keep you from experiencing any pain. Of course, if a tooth is impacted, this may add to the complexity of the extraction, meaning the dentist may have to cut away gum, as well as bone, tissue to uncover the tooth. Next, he or she will use specialized dental tools to rock the tooth back and forth, which will free it from the jaw bone and ligaments before it can be extracted. In these cases, however, the tooth may have to be removed piece by piece until the entire tooth is extracted.
What to Expect After A Tooth Extraction
After the tooth has been pulled, the dentist will self-dissolving stitches to close the socket and gauze to help stop the bleeding and to allow blood clotting to occur. While you are healing, you should refrain from smoking and drinking through straws as this can lead to a dry socket, a condition that occurs if the blood clot breaks free. If this happens, you will have to schedule a follow-up appointment with your dentist who will apply a sedative directly over the socket to help alleviate pain symptoms.
Home Care Following an Extraction
After having your tooth pulled, it can take more than a week before you are fully healed. To speed up the healing time and to minimize your chances of developing an infection, there are a few things you can do including
- Avoid using a straw or smoking for the first 24 hours after having your tooth pulled.
- Avoid any strenuous activity that may cause the blood clot to break free.
- Take over-the-counter or prescription pain medication to help with pain.
- Brush and floss your teeth as normal but avoid aggravating the extraction site.
- Apply ice to the extracted site to help minimize swelling.
- Only eat soft foods like soup, yogurt, and oatmeal, for example, while healing.
Obviously, there are more things that you can do to avoid complications following your extraction; however, these are the thing most commonly recommended by dentist. That said, it is always a good idea to speak with your dentist regarding any concerns you may have before and after your procedure.
When Should You Call Your Dentist
After having a tooth pulled, it is not uncommon to feel some residual pain once the anesthesia has worn off. In addition, you may still experience some swelling for 24 hours after your procedure. However, if bleeding, pain, or swelling persist beyond this point, it would be a good idea to contact your dentist. Also, contact your dentist immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Fever or chills
- Noticeable signs of infection
- Discharge from the infections site
- Redness or swelling
- Chronic coughing, vomiting, or chest pain
One of the most common questions patients have regarding tooth extraction is how long will take to heal. Obviously, timeframes can vary from person to person; in most cases, it will take 1 to 2 weeks to heal. During this time, you can expect new gum and bone tissue to start filling the extraction site. All in all, the process is straight forward and can be done relatively quickly with minimal pain.