A tooth extraction procedure is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the jaw. A tooth may need to be extracted for any of the following reasons:
- Infection: Sometimes, decay and infection reach the inner portion of the tooth, called the pulp, leading to nerve death. Extraction is performed for such teeth to prevent the spread of infection.
- Crowding: Sometimes the jaw cannot accommodate all the teeth in the mouth. This may prevent more teeth from erupting properly and can also affect your bite. In such cases, some teeth are extracted prior to administration of orthodontic treatment or to allow for new teeth to come in properly.
- Tooth Impaction: A tooth that has not erupted fully through the gums is known as an impacted tooth. Tooth impaction can affect the nearby teeth and can also cause infection. Therefore, it becomes necessary to extract such teeth.
- Gum disease: Teeth damaged and loosened away from the gums due to periodontal disease need to be extracted to prevent infection to the nearby teeth.
Extractions are performed under the effect of a local anesthetic. We may recommend sedation for patients who feel anxiety and fear during dental procedures. Once the area has been numbed, the tooth is carefully removed from its socket inside the jawbone. In case of impacted teeth, we will need to cut through the bone and gum tissue and then remove the tooth. Teeth that are difficult to extract are removed by cutting them in pieces.
As part of the healing process, a blood clot forms at the extraction site once the tooth is removed. A gauze pad is placed in the socket to control bleeding. You will need to bite down on the gauze pad gently and follow our post-op care instructions to aid appropriate healing.
Take care of the following things for a few days following surgery:
- Don’t smoke or rinse your mouth vigorously
- Avoid drinking through a straw
- Follow a diet of soft, cold foods
- Use ice or a cold compress to control swelling
For more information about extractions or to make an appointment, please contact our office at (954) 726-4511.