DENTAL SERVICES: Tooth Extractions
A dental extraction is the removal of a tooth from the mouth made necessary by decay and/or trauma. Performed for a wide variety of reasons, extractions are necessary when a problem has destroyed enough tooth structure to render the tooth non-restorable. Some reasons a tooth must be extracted include:
A crowded mouth: Sometimes dentists pull teeth to prepare the mouth for an orthodontist to treat crowded or crooked teeth. The goal of orthodontia is to properly align the teeth, which may not be possible if you have too many teeth or if they are too large for your mouth. A tooth may also be pulled because it cannot break through the gum (erupt) because there is not room in the mouth for it.
Infection: If tooth decay or damage extends to the pulp (located at the center of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels) bacteria in the mouth can enter the pulp, which can cause infection. While this can often be corrected with root canal, if the infection is so severe that antibiotics or root canal therapy do not cure it, extraction may be necessary to ensure that the infection does not spread.
Risk of infection: If your immune system is compromised by other health issues, even the risk of infection in a particular tooth may be reason enough to pull the tooth.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease: If an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth (periodontal disease) has caused loosening of the teeth, it may be necessary to extract them.
Before removing the tooth, you will receive a local anesthetic to numb the tooth to be extracted. You may also require a general anesthetic
to make sure you are comfortable, especially for multiple extractions.
Stitches may be necessary after your tooth is removed. Some dissolve by themselves and others need to be removed later.
In most cases, the recovery period lasts just a few days. We recommend the following:
• Take painkillers as prescribed to manage possible pain.
• Rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling. (Mix 1 tsp of salt in a medium-sized glass with 8 oz. of warm water).