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What is Tooth Extraction?

Person at dentist for tooth extraction | CARRAWAY FAMILY AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY

Tooth extraction is a procedure used to remove a tooth from its socket. This dental procedure can be performed by a qualified and experienced surgeon, periodontist, or general dentist.

Why Should I Consider Tooth Extraction?

We consider tooth extraction as the last option when it comes to dental health solutions. Your dentist will help you understand why you need to have your tooth pulled and what you should expect. There are two sets of teeth: the milk teeth, which are the first set of teeth that fall off as a child grows, and the permanent teeth, which grow in place of the milk teeth.

Though permanent teeth are meant to last a lifetime, several reasons may make extraction necessary. Some of these reasons include:

  • To reduce overcrowding of teeth. Extraction can also be necessary if you are scheduled for orthodontic treatment, and there is no room to realign and move the teeth.

  • When the tooth damage is irreparable due to severe decay.

  • To help an impacted tooth that has been blocked from coming out of the gums. This also reduces the risks of overcrowding and infection.

  • A possible solution to periodontal disease or gum infections or an abscess caused by bacteria in plaque.

  • To help preserve the teeth after an accident such as a car crash.

Before recommending extraction, your dentist will fully examine your affected tooth, mouth, and gums to ensure you are healthy enough for the procedure.

What Is Involved in Getting a Tooth Extracted?

There are two types of tooth extraction procedures your dentist can recommend: simple and surgical extractions. Simple extractions are done under local anesthesia and are mainly performed on a visible tooth.

On the other hand, surgical extractions involve general anesthesia. Your dentist may consider this option if they cannot easily access the tooth. This mainly occurs when the tooth is impacted or broken. In a surgical extraction, the dentist may perform an incision to raise the tissue covering the impacted tooth.

They may also have to split the tooth into several pieces to pull out the tooth. This procedure can be quite uncomfortable and painful.

Can I Be Put to Sleep For My Extraction?

Yes, depending on the tooth to be extracted, your dentist may put you to sleep using general anesthesia. With general anesthesia, you will remain completely unconscious during the procedure. Therefore, you will not feel any pulling, discomfort, or pain. To ensure you are safe, the medical team will closely monitor your vitals.

If you are at risk of complications, your doctor can recommend having the procedure done in a hospital setting to ensure they will be ready to handle any emergency. General anesthesia is ideal when:

  • You are in severe pain

  • You need several procedures at the same time

  • You experience dental anxiety

If you do want to be put to sleep, your dentist can recommend other sedation options, such as using a minimal dose of nitrous oxide or IV sedatives to help you relax. Your comfort is our priority here at Carraway Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Our highly trained dentists and medical team will ensure that you understand and are comfortable with the procedure.

What Can I Expect During and After Tooth Extraction?

Depending on the type of extraction, your dentist can inject the area around the tooth with local anesthesia to numb it or use general anesthesia. This will prevent pain during the procedure. If you are using local anesthesia, you can expect to feel some pulling as the dentist tries to pull out the teeth.

After the extraction, you will experience some bleeding, and your dentist will place gauze on the sock to absorb the blood. They will also advise you on how to take care of the socket to reduce the risk of infection and speed up recovery.

What Are Things I Should and Shouldn't Do After An Extraction?

You need enough rest after the procedure. You should ensure that you follow your doctor's instructions and maintain good oral hygiene to ensure that you heal quickly. After the extraction, you should:

  • Eat soft food a day after the procedure

  • Take the painkillers as prescribed

  • Try not to use a straw in the first 24 hours

  • Avoid spitting vigorously or rinsing your mouth

  • Firmly bite down on the gauze and change them frequently

  • Rest for at least 24 hours

  • Use a pillow on your head when lying down

  • Not smoke or use tobacco until you are completely healed

  • Rinse your mouth with a solution of a half teaspoon salt and eight ounces of water after 24 hours

Person at dentist for tooth extraction | CARRAWAY FAMILY AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY

What is a Dry Socket, and How do I Prevent Getting One?

It is normal to develop a blood clot where the tooth was extracted. The clot protects and heals the nerve ending and underlying bones. The blood clot should stay intact until you are fully healed. However, there are times when the clot can get dislodged. This causes a dry socket which is very painful and uncomfortable. To prevent getting a dry socket, you should:

  • Avoid using a straw

  • Avoid soup and eat soft foods

  • Try not to smoke or use tobacco

  • Maintain good oral hygiene

  • Avoid other medications such as birth control pills

What Can I Eat After an Extraction?

During the first 24 hours after an extraction, it is vital that you only eat soft foods and some liquids. Some easy to chew foods that you can consider are:

  • Eggs

  • Applesauce

  • Cottage Cheese

  • Yogurt

  • Mashed Potatoes

  • Oatmeal

  • Ice cream

How Much Pain Will I Be in After My Extraction? Will I Bleed a lot? How Long Will I Be Swollen After My Extraction?

Once the anesthesia wears off, you may also feel some pain and swelling, especially within the first 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. It is normal to experience some bleeding after the procedure, and the gauze should help control it. However, if you experience severe bleeding or pain four hours after the procedure, you should treat that as an emergency and see your dentist immediately.

Here at Carraway Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we are a team of qualified dentists who offer general dental procedures, including tooth extractions for all patients who have to get their teeth pulled. Get in touch with our professionals to know more about dental extractions in Greer, SC.


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