An extraction is the removal of a tooth or teeth from the mouth. At Restoration Smiles: Adult & Pediatric Dentistry, we perform extractions for a wide variety of reasons, including tooth decay that has destroyed so much tooth structure that the tooth can no longer be restored with a filling or crown; advanced gum disease; extensive dental trauma; and orthodontic treatment plans that require teeth to be extracted to create space for the other teeth to move into place. The teeth can then be removed, and the gums sutured closed.
Reasons for Tooth Extraction
An extraction may be needed for various reasons, including decay that has destroyed too much of the tooth to be saved. If a tooth is severely broken or cracked, it may also need to be extracted. Tooth extractions may also be recommended as a preventive measure against impacted wisdom teeth that can cause oral health problems later in life. Impacted wisdom teeth may damage neighboring teeth, the jawbone, or the nerves of the surrounding teeth. In some cases, oral surgery may be necessary to extract these third molars.
The Tooth Extraction Procedure
Before the procedure, your dentist will administer anesthetic medication to numb the area and minimize pain during the procedure. If the process is below the gum line, then the dentist will make a small incision in your gum to access the tooth and bone. If the area is above the gum line, your dentist will use an elevator to loosen the gum tissue and gently extract the tooth using forceps. In some cases, a tooth may need to be removed in pieces instead of removed as a whole. These pieces are carefully removed from the mouth to avoid damaging nearby teeth. Afterward, your gums will be sewn back up to close the gap, and your jaw will be restored with bone graft material to promote bone regrowth and help restore your smile’s appearance.
After the surgery, you may experience some swelling and irritation. You will be given pain medication to provide relief from discomfort. You may also be prescribed antibiotics or antimicrobial mouthwash to prevent infection. If you had stitches placed, these would be removed after one to two weeks.
Once your mouth has healed, you can eat whatever foods you wish but must adhere to an initial diet of soft foods such as mashed potatoes, yogurt, or soups. Avoid using your affected teeth to chew hard or sticky foods for four to six weeks after surgery. You will also need to avoid smoking until the area is completely healed.
Healing time varies among individuals and can take six weeks to four months, depending on how much healing is needed. You may need to schedule another appointment to ensure you are completely healed.
After the process, it is essential to follow all post-operative instructions carefully to ensure a safe and smooth recovery. For the best dental care, visit Restoration Smiles: Adult & Pediatric Dentistry at 2 Coolidge St, Suite 202, Hudson, MA 01749, or call (508) 658-0661.