Permanent teeth are designed to last you a lifetime as long as you maintain a good oral hygiene routine. However, in spite of efforts to save your tooth through treatments such as fillings, root canals, and crowns, extraction may be the only choice in some cases.
When Extractions Are Necessary
Excessive damage due to decay or trauma is the most common reason for tooth extraction. Extractions may also be carried out if the patient has crowded teeth, an infection which cannot be effectively treated with root canal therapy, or advanced periodontal disease. If you are having any problems or suspect that you might need an extraction, schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Stephen Moore, DDS, at Grand View Family and Cosmetic Dentistry.
What to Expect During the Procedure
The procedure is very safe and, contrary to popular belief, virtually pain-free for many patients. Your dentist will carry out a detailed examination of your mouth and discuss with you the specifics of the procedure. He will review your complete medical history, and may recommend a course of pre-extraction antibiotics. Make sure to tell your dentist if you are currently taking any medications or vitamin supplements. During the procedure, the dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area.
You should not feel any pain during the procedure. However, anesthetics affect different people differently. If you experience discomfort during the procedure, tell the dentist immediately.
Once the tooth is pulled out, some gauze will be placed on the area. This is done to help create a blood clot and initiate healing. Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics and painkillers if needed.
You might experience some discomfort as the anesthesia begins to wear off. This is why it is wise to take your first dose of prescribed painkillers or over-the-counter pain reliever before the anesthetic wears off. You should also take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to encourage healing. Change the gauze pad after every three to four hours. Intermittently apply cold compresses to the treated area for at least ten minutes at a time to minimize swelling.
Other safety recommendations we suggest you should follow are listed below:
- Keep your activity to a minimum during at least the first 24 hours following an extraction.
- Avoid smoking.
- Do not use straws for about 24 hours.
- Stick to soft foods (ie: pasta, jello, cottage cheese, yogurt, scrambled eggs).
- When lying down, keep your head propped up with pillows
- Brush regularly, but avoid the extraction site for the first few days.
- Be sure to brush your tongue to prevent infection.
Follow-Up Appointments and Care
Minor bleeding is common after the procedure. However, if it increases in severity or does not decrease after four hours, call your doctor. Also, report unusual symptoms to the doctor, including fever, chills, nausea, swelling, discharge from the affected area, or any respiratory symptoms.
The initial healing takes about one to two weeks. Your gums will heal and close over the gap. Your dentist may probably ask you to come in for some follow-up evaluation if needed. This involves checking for signs of infection and, if necessary, discussing options for tooth replacements.
If you need a tooth extraction or wish to consult with Dr. Stephen Moore, DDS, call 920-996-0123. The team at Grand View Family and Cosmetic Dentistry has specialists who will guide you and provide excellent care. You can also drop by our practice at 381 South Kools Street, Appleton, WI 54914, to find out more about our facilities before scheduling an appointment.