After much consideration and discussion, you and our doctors may determine that a tooth needs to be extracted for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed or have failed root canals; others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your bite and chewing capability. It can also contribute to problems with your jaw joint and cause shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health. To avoid these complications, in most cases, we will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.
When a tooth fails to emerge through the gums, It is considered to be an impacted tooth. This commonly occurs in the case of canine teeth. It is important to treat an impacted tooth in order to prevent the improper eruption to nearby teeth, cyst formation, possible infection or other negative changes in the jaw.
In most cases, you will need to have space created in your jaw through orthodontics prior to the surgical treatment. The treatment of choice in these cases is to surgically expose the tooth in order to guide it to the right position in your jaw. This is normally completed by attaching an orthodontic bracket to the exposed tooth at the time of surgery or shortly thereafter in order to help guide the tooth to the level of the adjacent teeth.
Surgically exposing and aligning impacted canines can prevent further damage to your dentition. In conjunction with subsequent orthodontic treatment, it can result in a more aesthetically-pleasing appearance. Our doctors will work with your orthodontist to provide you with the best treatment possible.
After Extraction Home Care
Bleeding: Some bleeding may occur. We recommend placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 45 minutes. Forming a stable blood clot in the tooth socket is important to the healing process and therefore care must be taken to not dislodge the clot. Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction and avoid and use of a straw, smoking or hot liquids.
Swelling: If swelling occurs, you can press an ice pack to your cheek for 10 minutes and off for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours.
Pain & Medications: If you experience pain, you may used non-prescription pain relief medications such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.
Eating: For most extractions you may eat regular food, provided you make sure you do not chew near the extraction site. Please avoid hot liquids, foods with small seeds and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A liquid diet may be recommended for the 24 hours.
Brushing & cleaning: After the extraction, avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. You may resume gentle cleaning the next day. Avoid commercial mouth rinses as they tend to irritate the site. Beginning 24 hours after the extraction you can rinse with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed.
Dry Socket: Dry socket occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged, and the healing is significantly delayed. Following the post extraction instructions will reduce the chance of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain, which doesn’t appear until three or four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste in your mouth or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry. Our doctors will apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to soothe the pain.
Healing: After a tooth has been extracted, there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. However, after 1-2 weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience.