If your dentist recommends tooth extraction, it’s normal to feel a little anxious about the procedure. A tooth extraction may be necessary if you have a decayed tooth, dental crowding, or issues with your wisdom teeth.
Sometimes a tooth extraction is the only way to proceed and avoid future oral health issues. Understanding the procedure and what to expect can make the process easier and less stressful for you.
If you need tooth extraction in Boise, we’re here to help. Here’s everything you need to know about the process.
When Tooth Extraction is Necessary
Your dentist may recommend tooth extraction for a variety of reasons. If your dentist can’t repair the problem with a filling, crown, or another procedure, extraction may be the only choice.
Some reasons for extraction include:
- Baby teeth that aren’t falling out as they should
- Tooth decay or infection deep within the tooth or gum
- To provide more space in the mouth for orthodontic treatment
- Wisdom tooth removal
Tooth extraction is often the last resort when other procedures will not work to save the tooth or prevent future problems.
Simple extractions are for teeth visible above the gum line. This is a common, quick, and safe procedure.
Simple extractions normally require a local anesthetic to numb the area. The dentist then loosens and removes the tooth.
The procedure takes place in the dentist’s office. Pain is generally minimal, and you can leave soon after the procedure is over and any bleeding stops.
A surgical extraction is a more complex procedure than a simple extraction. This procedure may be necessary if a tooth is broken at the gum line, is impacted, or is growing incorrectly.
Surgical extractions require a general anesthetic and a small incision in the gum. In some cases, surgical extractions may require removing some of the bone surrounding the tooth or cutting the tooth in half before removing it.
How Long Does the Pain Last
When the numbing medication wears off, you can expect some pain and discomfort. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication or recommend an over-the-counter pain remedy.
Applying cold or warm compresses can help ease the discomfort. The pain should subside in a few days to a week or two at the most. If you experience excessive pain or discomfort, call your dentist right away.
Preparing for a Tooth Extraction
Before you have dental work, your dentist should know your dental and medical history. You should tell them about any current health problems, recent surgeries, or any allergies you may have.
Be sure to let them know about any medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter products. If you have a health issue that puts you at risk of developing an infection, inform your dentist.
Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to take before and after your procedure. Inform your dentist if you have any medical condition, including:
- Heart disease
- Impaired immune system
- Liver disease
- Thyroid problems
- Artificial joints
It’s always best to be honest with your dentist about any pre-existing conditions you may have. In case of an emergency, this information is essential for your care.
Healing After a Tooth Extraction
Following your extraction, you will go home to recover. Recovery is usually quick but taking care of yourself is necessary to ensure proper healing.
If you’re feeling a lot of discomfort or have any questions or concerns, be sure to share this information with your dentist. Some tips for post-extraction recovery include:
- Bite down on gauze for 30 minutes or until bleeding subsides
- If bleeding is excessive, contact your dentist right away
- Apply an ice pack for 10 minutes at a time following your procedure
- Limit your activity for a day or two
- Eat soft and cool foods for the first two days following the extraction
- Avoid strenuous activity for a few days
- Do not rinse or spit forcefully for 24 hours
- Do not drink through a straw for 24 hours
- Gently rinse your mouth with saltwater 24 hours after your procedure
- When lying down, prop your head up with a pillow
- Brush and floss gently for the first few days
The healing period lasts about one to two weeks. Taking care of yourself and following your dentist’s instructions can help prevent complications following an extraction.
When to Call the Dentist
A tooth extraction is a safe procedure. As with any medical procedure, there’s always the chance of complications. If you experience any of these issues, call your dentist.
- Excessive bleeding
- High fever
- Severe pain or discomfort
- Prolonged swelling
Dry socket is a common problem following a tooth extraction. This can occur when a blood clot fails to form as it should.
This is a painful complication that can occur 2 to 4 days after your procedure. If a dry socket occurs, you should see your dentist right away.
They can treat the condition and help you get back on the road to healing.
What About the Missing Tooth
If you’re having your wisdom teeth removed or having an extraction due to overcrowding, you don’t have to worry about replacing your tooth.
But if you had a damaged or infected tooth removed, you will probably want to replace it. This can help keep your teeth from shifting or prevent other dental problems in the future.
There are solutions available for missing teeth. Talk to your dentist about dental implants or other options that may be right for you.
Tooth Extraction in Boise
If you think you may need a tooth extraction or have questions about any dental procedure, we’d love to help you. We strive to provide excellent dental care and a welcoming environment for all of our patients.
If you need a tooth extraction in Boise, we are open and ready to care for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Crump.