Though, most of the time, we do our best to avoid the need to extract a tooth, sometimes it is essential to stop the spread of decay and infection. Once a tooth no longer has the strength to withstand a root canal procedure, it must be removed before the decay can cause damage to the bone and other teeth. Extractions sound scary, especially when you don’t know what to expect, but they will often get rid of your pain and help you maintain your oral health. At Midnight Sun Dental Center, we perform extractions as a last resort, and do our best to make sure you understand what happens during your extraction procedure before you sit in the exam chair.
What to Expect During Your Extraction Procedure
Most people will need an extraction for one of two reasons; either they have severe tooth decay and the tooth isn’t savable, or their wisdom teeth are growing in wrong and need to be removed before they cause damage to surrounding teeth. The first is a simple extraction, the latter mostly falls into a surgical extraction.
Simple Extractions – With a simple extraction, the tooth has grown in past the gum line and can be removed without the need to also remove gum tissue and bone. During a simple extraction, your dentist will numb the area with an injection. They will then move the tooth back and forth until it has loosened from the bone and remove it. Blood clots will form quickly, and are essential to the healing process, which is why you shouldn’t use a straw and only eat soft food for the first few days. Your dentist will prescribe a pain killer to use as needed, though pain shouldn’t last more than a day or two.
Surgical Extractions – When the tooth hasn’t grown past the gum line and gum tissue or bone has to be removed to get to the tooth, it falls under the category of a surgical extraction. For surgical extractions, your dentist will generally use an anesthetic to put you to sleep. Then the gum tissue over the tooth is either removed or folded back to expose the tooth. It is then loosened gently with forceps until it can be pulled from the bone. The gums often need to receive stitches, which will dissolve on their own. The healing process for surgical extractions is the same as with simple extractions: no straws, eat soft food and take pain medication as needed.
Do You Need an Extraction?
Extractions may seem extreme, but they can often get your oral health back on track, and once the infected tooth has been removed, you and your dentist can discuss the possibility of implants. If you are in the Eagle River, AK area and would like more information on extractions, please contact our office today!