Flagstaff Downtown Dental – Family & Cosmetic DentistryYou and Dr. Bacon or Dr. Stowell may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.
To avoid these complications, in most cases, Dr. Bacon or Dr. Stowell will discuss alternatives to extractions as well replacement of the extracted tooth.
The Extraction Process
At the time of extraction the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic.
During the extraction process you will feel a lot of pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal.
You feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain, yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected.
If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction please let the oral surgeon know right away.
Wisdom Teeth (otherwise known as 3rd molars) are often recommended for extraction even when they are currently not bothering you for the following reasons:
- They often become a source of infection when they partially erupt. Wisdom teeth often do not come in straight and usable to chew with. Instead they attempt the erupt at an angle. This is a problem as they “bump” into the tooth in front of them and can only enter part way. This leaves an opening in one’s mouth for bacteria to settle and infection to occur.
- When wisdom teeth come in at an angle, this may damage the tooth in front of the wisdom tooth. Through time this may even lead to loss of that tooth.
- Impacted (non erupted wisdom teeth are occasionally a source for a cyst and may occasionally be a source for a malignancy.
It is recommended to have wisdom teeth extracted sooner rather than later as the procedure is often easier before your roots are fully formed. Before age 22 is best.
Dr. Bacon or Dr. Stowell will refer you to a competent Flagstaff Oral Surgeon if your wisdom teeth need extracting. They will be able to best take care of you and where Dr. Bacon sent his own daughter. The Oral Surgeon can put you under for the procedure. They will also look into your insurance benefits and determine what your coverage would look like.
Sectioning a tooth
Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.
After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times to staunch the flow of blood.
After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
Use pain medication as directed. Call our office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
After a few days you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.
To have a discussion and address possible tooth extraction & replacement, call Flagstaff Office Phone Number 928-774-1168 today!
Tooth Replacement Summary
After your extraction site heals (sometimes up to 3 months) you may replace your tooth with one of three common ways. One is a removable tooth placed in a pink plastic much like an orthodontic retainer. Another is a fixed bridge that glues in to the adjacent teeth. And finally, and often the closest thing to getting your own tooth back, is an implant.