There are sometimes situations when a tooth is very severely damaged in such a way that it cannot be properly repaired. Other times, a tooth may be disrupting other teeth inside the mouth. When these problems occur, the best course of action may be to remove the problematic tooth entirely. This procedure is known as a tooth extraction, and it is surprisingly common.
Almost every patient who undergoes a tooth extraction will receive one or more forms of sedation. The most frequently used type of sedation is a local anesthetic that is designed to numb the area. However, we may also provide oral sedation, laughing gas or IV sedation if needed. Any time that sedation is provided, the process is very closely monitored to keep the patient safe.
When providing a tooth extraction, we start by taking X-rays of the immediate area. This will allow us to determine the safest and most effective way to remove the tooth. Any sedation that is being used will then be provided. We can then carefully pull the tooth from its socket. Most patients report feeling no pain or discomfort during this process, but it is common to feel a sensation of pressure in the area.
Our immediate goal after removing a tooth is to control any bleeding that follows. To do this, the patient will be asked to bite down on a piece of gauze for 30 to 45 minutes. This will allow a blood clot to form at the extraction site. The patient will be instructed to be very careful and to take precautions to not disturb the blood clot in any fashion. We strongly recommend that every patient avoids using a straw, rinsing vigorously, consuming drugs or alcohol and participating in any intensive exercise for at least 24 hours following a tooth extraction.
It will usually take a few days for a patient to heal after having a tooth removed. The primary objective during this time is to manage any swelling that occurs. An effective way to do this is to use an ice pack on the outer cheek closest to the extraction site. An ice pack can be safely applied for up to 20 minutes at a time. Once the swelling has subsided, a warm compress can be applied to the area for comfort. To keep the area clean, a patient can gently rinse the extraction site with warm salt water after 24 hours have elapsed.
If a tooth is causing severe discomfort or if it cannot be properly repaired, then you may be in need of a tooth extraction. Our experts work to make the process as easy and as painless as possible so that you can focus on restoring your oral health. Please call us at 630-454-8166 to schedule an appointment.