A tooth extraction may be a necessary procedure if the tooth is damaged beyond repair, or is causing problems in the mouth that cannot be treated by other means. It is a routine procedure here in our Denver, CO office and it’s generally comfortable and simple, but may require a longer healing process if the tooth is infected or if the patient requires several extractions.
The dentist may use a local anesthetic prior to extraction to numb the affected area. But in some cases, such as extraction of a large impacted tooth or wisdom tooth, a general anesthetic may be recommended so that the patient will just sleep through the procedure.
When is Tooth Extraction Necessary?
Teeth are pulled out in order to create a more aesthetically pleasing and healthier smile. Your dentist may recommend this procedure if other procedures cannot reverse the damage to the affected tooth, or if the tooth/teeth is affecting your smile.
Here are the main benefits of tooth extraction:
- It ensures that there’s even spacing in between teeth. Overcrowding of the teeth can lead to a bad bite and pain when chewing. In such cases, your dentist may recommend the removal of any misaligned teeth.
- It lowers the risk of infection. Root canal therapy usually eliminates infection in the tooth. However, if the infection is severe, root canal may not suffice.
- It can eliminate problematic wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth usually erupt between the age of 16 and 25 and oftentimes, dentists will recommend that they be extracted as they do more harm than good. Wisdom teeth can be impacted or trapped underneath the gums. They also increase the likelihood of an infection.
After your tooth/teeth have been extracted, your dentist will advise you to rest for a few days to a few weeks depending on the complexity of the procedure. Immediately after extraction, your dentist will place a gauze pad on the site of extraction to stop the bleeding. For large extraction sites, your dentist may need to stitch the wound shut. The stitches are self-dissolving and will disappear on their own after a few days.
To ensure a fast recovery, follow these tips:
- Eat only soft foods.
- Do not drink liquid through a straw.
- Reduce swelling by using an ice pack.
- Don’t smoke during the entire recovery period.
- Rest and don’t do anything that requires physical exertion.
- Don’t brush the extraction site for the first few days. However, you still need to brush and floss your teeth, as well as brush your tongue regularly.
If you have infected teeth or considering a tooth extraction, schedule an appointment with Dr. Goodpaster. We’ll discuss your options and determine which one is best for you