Tooth extractions are necessary when the tooth has become badly damaged by decay or disease as well as for wisdom teeth. Tooth extractions are performed at Infinity Dental of Fox Lake by dentists who are trained in dealing with the teeth, gums, bone and ligaments.
Do You Need A Tooth Extraction?
Common reasons for tooth extraction include:
- Damage due to accident or trauma
- Gum disease
- Create space for teeth
- Improve alignment
- To remove extra teeth (wisdom teeth)
- Certain medical conditions
Wisdom Teeth Removal
One of the most common forms of tooth extractions is of wisdom teeth, also known as third molars. These are typically removed while they are still growing in adolescents and young adults. They should be removed simply when they begin to cause issues such as damage to your other teeth, pain, bite issues, swelling or infections.
As the teeth grow in, they can cause significant pain when they break the surface of the gum and shift other teeth to make room. Some people may never have their wisdom teeth erupt because there is no room. If they are not causing you any problems, Dr. Prendergast may choose to just keep an eye on them. In other cases, we may see that having them removed right away will prevent obvious issues in the future.
Tooth Extraction: What to Expect
A tooth extraction is a fairly simple procedure. At the time of surgery, we will numb the area around the tooth or teeth to be extracted with a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort. You may experience some pressure while your dentist rocks the tooth back and forth to loosen it for removal, but you should not feel pain. If you do feel any pain, please let us know.
After the tooth is extracted, a crucial part of the healing process is biting down on some gauze so that a blood clot can form. We ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30 to 45 minutes after the appointment. In most cases, a small amount of bleeding is normal for up to 24 hours.
You may feel some pain and experience some swelling after the tooth is extracted. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen vegetables applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours. The extraction site will close up in about two weeks.
Tooth Replacement Options
After a tooth is extracted, Dr. Prendergast will recommend replacing it as soon as possible. The dental restoration he will recommend is different for each patient. Restorations include a dental bridge, partial or full denture, or dental implants. If the patient qualifies for a dental implant, this will be the number one option. Implants are considered the gold standard of tooth replacement.
Dental implants can be used to replace one or multiple teeth. A titanium implant post is placed in the jaw and supports a custom dental crown. Multiple teeth can be replaced with many posts, each supporting a dental crown, or a certain number of implant posts can be placed to support a fixed bridge or denture. They’re the only option that replaces the tooth root and combats further jawbone deterioration.
Removable bridges and dentures are traditional methods of replacing multiple missing teeth. A bridge can replace one or more consecutive missing teeth. It’s supported by anchor teeth on each side of the bridge. A denture replaces a full arch of missing teeth, using suction and dental adhesive to stay in your mouth. Partial dentures are also available if you don’t need a full arch of teeth replaced.
In most cases, our dentists can perform extractions and place dental implants, sometimes in one visit, right in our Fox Lake dental office.
Tooth Extraction FAQs
How long do I need to rest after a dental extraction?
You will need to rest for about 3 to 4 days after your tooth extraction. Following your extraction, you need to avoid exercise or physical activity. Blood clots will form at your extraction site as a protective barrier for the underlying bone. If you dislodge these blood clots, you can experience pain and discomfort. Resting after your extraction procedure will prevent problems like dry socket.
How can I help heal my tooth sockets after a tooth extraction?
Following your tooth extraction:
- Avoid tobacco products
- Take pain medication
- Eat soft foods
- Avoid touching the extraction sites
- Keep gauze over your blood clots
Following these tips will help your tooth sockets heal properly and quickly after extraction.
What is dry socket?
Dry socket occurs when the protective blood clot fails to form or is dislodged from a tooth socket following extraction. This condition is highly painful, and you can experience throbbing pain and swelling. Taking pain medication, being gentle with the tooth sockets, and gently rinsing with salt water can help address dry socket until you fully heal.
When can I eat after my tooth extraction?
You can eat after tooth extraction, but you should only eat soft foods and liquids like smoothies, pasta, yogurt, and mashed potatoes. It’s best to avoid eating solid foods for 24 hours after your extraction procedure to prevent irritation or pain at the extraction sites.
Why can’t I drink coffee after a tooth extraction?
Drinking hot coffee after your tooth extraction can lead to sensitivity and pain at or surrounding your tooth sockets. The caffeine in coffee increases blood pressure, which can also increase bleeding in your sockets. To stay safe, we recommend avoiding coffee until about five days after your extraction treatment.
How do I know my tooth extraction site is healing?
Overall, decreased bleeding, swelling, and closing of the extraction sites are signs that you are healing. Four hours after your treatment, bleeding should stop. Then, about three days after your treatment, you will feel minimal swelling or pain. You may also feel the extraction sites begin to close. Other signs of healing will include lessened pain and inflammation surrounding the extraction sites.
Schedule A Dental Exam & Consultation
If you believe you may need a tooth extraction or wisdom teeth removed, call Infinity Dental of Fox Lake to schedule a consultation with one of our well-qualified dentists.