When a root canal, filling or other dental procedure cannot restore a tooth’s health, an extraction may be necessary to prevent the patient from suffering infection and pain. Reasons for extractions include:
- Severe tooth decay or gum disease
- Supernumerary (extra) teeth that block the eruption of other teeth
- Teeth that cannot be restored with a root canal
- Broken, fractured or otherwise malformed teeth
- Implementation of cosmetic dentistry procedures (dentures, partials, braces, bridges)
- Impacted wisdom teeth
Ensuring patient comfort during an extraction is Dr. Rinando’s top priority. Before an extraction, a local anesthesia is applied that completely numbs the tooth. A numbing agent is then injected into the gums surrounding the tooth that anesthetizes oral nerves. Discomfort is significantly minimized and most patients feel only a sensation of pressure as Dr. Rinando carefully extracts the tooth.
Extractions are always the last resort when addressing a serious dental problem and are not performed unless absolutely necessary by Dr. Rinando.
Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Impacted wisdom teeth cannot emerge through the gums due to their restrictive positioning in the gums. To correctly diagnose impacted wisdom teeth, Dr. Rinando will take x-rays of a patient’s mouth using digital radiography equipment.
Signs of pericoronitis (infected wisdom teeth) due to impaction include:
- Whitish discharge seeping around the affected tooth
- Painful gums
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Low-grade fever (if infection has reached the bloodstream)
Unless extracted, impacted wisdom teeth may partially emerge, cause severe pain or become infected when oral bacteria enter openings in the gums.
Simple and Surgical Extractions
Simple extractions involve teeth that have already erupted and can be seen by the dentist. This is the easiest type of extraction and typically requires only two dental tools–an elevator to lift the tooth and dental forceps to widen the alveolar bone and loosen the periodontal ligament holding the tooth in place.
Surgical extractions are indicated for teeth that are submerged or partially submerged in the gums. After making an incision to access the tooth, Dr. Rinando may need to excise overlying jawbone tissue to facilitate removal. Most surgical extractions are performed using general anesthesia.
What to Expect After an Extraction
After a simple extraction, patients will need to bite down on gauze until a blood clot forms in the empty socket. Bleeding usually stops within 30 minutes of applying pressure to the socket. Keeping the mouth closed can expedite blood clot formation so talking should be avoided during this time.
Unlike simple extractions, surgical extractions require closure with one or two self-dissolving stitches.
To minimize discomfort and promote the recovery process, 6th Sense Dental extraction patients are advised to:
- Take pain medication as instructed by Dr. Rinando
- Continue biting down on gauze for several hours after the extraction
- Use an ice pack to reduce swelling
- Limit physical activity for the next 48 to 72 hours
- Do not spit or rinse for at least one day after the extraction. This could dislodge the blood clot that has formed in the empty socket and cause bleeding and/or “dry socket”
- Refrain from smoking; the chemicals in tobacco smoke inhibit healing
- Eat only soft foods (soup, applesauce, yogurt) for the first 24 to 48 hours.
Replacing missing teeth (except wisdom teeth) is always recommended since tooth loss may interfere with chewing properly and eventually promotes structural changes to the jawbone. Dr. Rinando would be more than happy to discuss tooth replacement procedures with you after your extraction site is fully healed.