Even if you’ve worked hard all your life to maintain the health of your teeth, you may find you need a tooth extraction. Next to fillings, an extraction is the most common procedure performed by general dentists. At Landmark Dental Group, it’s quick, easy, and safe.
Tooth Extraction: What You Need to Know
Across the profession, most general dentists agree that tooth extraction should be a last resort.
Still, there are many cases where extraction can be for the best. Sometimes, a tooth may be too damaged to stand up to ordinary use. In other cases, it may be severely infected – and a prompt removal may be the safest way to ensure that the problem doesn’t spread.
An extraction might be performed for any of the following reasons:
- Severe decay which compromises the structural integrity of the teeth;
- Trauma, such as damage from an accident or from long-term grinding;
- Gum disease or other infection that causes the tooth to become loose;
- Ordinary “wear and tear” that occurs as we age.
Indeed, having a tooth extracted doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a serious dental problem. As people are living longer and more active lives, more are finding that they may need to have a tooth extracted now and then. With all that in mind, it’s important the procedure be safe and simple.
Before and After Your Tooth Extraction
Generally speaking, there’s nothing special a patient has to do to prepare for an extraction – simply continue brushing and flossing as you normally would. Before a tooth is removed, general dentists should discuss replacement options that suit your needs.
Dental implants, bridges, and removable partial dentures are all appropriate for replacing one or a few consecutive teeth. X-rays and other diagnostic tools may be needed to determine which option would be the best for you. Then, it’s time for the extraction itself!
Depending on the circumstances, the extraction may take as little as 30 minutes of chair time. Sedation may range from localized oral sedation to conscious IV sedation, the most potent option. If you choose stronger sedation, be sure you have someone’s help or arrangements to get home after the procedure.
A small amount of swelling, and possible bleeding, is normal after extraction. To accelerate healing, avoid smoking and vigorously rinsing your mouth. Instead, rinse three times daily with warm salt water. You can apply a cold cloth to the outside of the mouth as needed to treat swelling.
As always, continuing to brush is important. Simply avoid the surgery site while brushing other teeth.
Landmark Dental Group Makes Extractions Easier
At Landmark Dental in Santa Cruz, our general dentists have performed thousands of tooth extractions on patients of all backgrounds. We can even offer deep sedation to help people with anxiety about going to the dentist. To find out more, call us.