When we perform a tooth extraction, we do so to remove impacted wisdom teeth or to place a dental implant or restoration. A tooth extraction should never be done if a tooth can otherwise be saved. Therefore, we, at Widner Elite Oral Surgery and Dental Implants, make sure that any tooth extraction is done for the right reason. The following information gives you a better idea of what is involved during the process.
What Is a Tooth Extraction and How Is It Performed?
A tooth extraction involves the removal of a visible or impacted tooth, and therefore may represent a simple extraction or a surgical removal. During a simple extraction, the patient receives a local anesthetic so they only feel pressure and not pain. We use a tool called an elevator to loosen the affected tooth and remove it with forceps.
If a patient undergoes a surgical extraction, we usually administer both a local anesthesia and an intravenous anesthesia. The latter anesthesia relaxes the patient. Sometimes a patient receives a general anesthesia if he or she has a specific medical condition. When a patient is given a general anesthesia, they remain unconscious during the surgery. During the surgery, we make a small incision in the gum. This may also involve removing the bone around a tooth or cutting the tooth before it can be removed.
How Should I Prepare for an Extraction?
To prepare for a tooth extraction, let us know if you have a cold, as we usually will have to re-schedule. Also, make sure you have someone to drive you home if you are receiving a general anesthesia. You should wear a short-sleeved shirt if you are receiving an IV.
What Risks Are Involved With a Tooth Extraction?
Normally, after we extract a tooth, a blood clot will form in the socket or the hole that is left behind. However, sometimes the clot breaks loose or does not form as expected, which, in turn, exposes the socket. When this happens, we call this a dry socket. If this occurs, we will place a sedative dressing on the site so a new clot can form.
Other risks from a tooth extraction include excess bleeding (or bleeding that lasts for 12 hours or longer); chills and fever (a possible sign of an infection); vomiting or nausea; redness or swelling at the surgical site; or respiratory difficulties and chest pain. You should contact us immediately if you experience any of the foregoing symptoms.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Tooth Extraction?
Usually, the recovery period for a tooth extraction is several days. During this time, you can apply an ice pack to the cheek to reduce swelling. Use the ice pack for about 10 minutes at a time. After we place gauze over the extraction site, bite down on the cloth to reduce bleeding and keep it on for about four hours, or until the gauze is soaked with blood. You should also take any prescribed medicines, including over-the-counter pain relievers that we recommend.
Rest during the first 24 hours after surgery and prop your head with pillows. Brush and floss, like normal, avoiding the extraction site. Rinse with a salt water rinse to promote healing. Gradually introduce regular foods into your diet during the healing process. Make sure to follow any aftercare instructions we gave you, and when in doubt, just call our office.
What are your oral surgery needs? Give Widner Elite Oral Surgery and Dental Implants a call at (737) 309-4351 to learn more about our complete line of dental services.