When Does A Tooth Need To Be Extracted?
Both dentists and their patients work hard to preserve oral health and function. This comprises the heart of preventive dentistry. However, certain conditions require tooth extraction, unfortunate as that is. Mount Airy, NC dentists, Dr. Lynette Smith and Dr. G. Bennett Smith, perform extractions at Blue Ridge Dental. Read here about what conditions require this dental procedure.
Kinds of extraction
Dentists extract both primary and adult teeth. Sometimes an extraction is what professionals call simple--that is, the doctor grasps the tooth with a forceps and pulls it out of the socket. Other times, the extraction is surgical, requiring an incision of the gums and sometimes the surrounding bone, too, as in the case of impacted wisdom teeth.
Either way, your Mount Airy dentist will examine your tooth and surrounding tissues carefully and also take digital X-rays before recommending any type of extraction. He or she also will ensure that you are completely comfortable during the treatment. Usually, locally injected anesthetic is sufficient to numb the area and keep you pain-free.
Reasons for dental extraction
Your Mount Airy dentist cites several reasons for pulling a tooth. They include:
- Wisdom tooth impaction, when a third molar is encased in gum or bone, is at risk for infection and intrudes on neighboring teeth
- Serious tooth fracture above or below the gum line
- Deep decay and infection that travels into the jaw bone
- Retention of baby teeth into teen years and adulthood, impeding eruption of permanent teeth
- Tooth blocking cancer radiation treatment
- Blockage of orthodontic treatment
- Teeth are too large for the size of the jaw bone, resulting in overcrowding
Remember, that Dr. Smith considers extraction a last resort. If performed, the dentist will recommend replacing that tooth--in the case of decay or fracture, for instance--with a dental implant, partial denture or fixed bridge according to your individual needs.
Post extraction care
Most people recover quickly from extractions. The team at Blue Ridge Dental advises the following home care of your extraction site:
- Bite on sterile gauze for 30 minutes after the dentist sutures the site closed.
- Take analgesics for pain and antibiotics as prescribed.
- Consume a liquid diet on day one--clear soups and juices, popsicles, jello.
- Advance to a soft diet the next day--macaroni and cheese, yogurt, mashed potatoes.
- Apply ice if your jaw is swollen--10 minutes on and 10 minutes off.
- Do not smoke or drink from a straw for 48 hours as the suction can dislodge the newly formed blood clot.
- Return to Blue Ridge Dental for suture removal or for any unexplained pain or bleeding.
It's very important to preserve the blood clot at the extraction site. If it becomes dislodged, a condition called "dry socket" can happen. The American Dental Association says that while dry socket is relatively uncommon, if it does happen pain, impeded healing and infection may result.
Find out more
If you're facing dental extraction, don't worry. You're in the hands of a capable and compassionate team of professionals at Blue Ridge Dental. Call us with your questions: (336) 789-5306.