Thanks to the advances in modern dentistry, many teeth that at one time would have needed to be extracted because of trauma and disease can be saved. However, there are times in which an extraction is unavoidable. For example, if a tooth has been damaged to the point that it can’t be saved, an extraction will be needed. If a person has too many teeth, a condition known as tooth-crowding, extraction may be necessary to relieve the problem. On occasion, some teeth may need to be removed to accommodate orthodontics. The most common type of extraction is a surgical extraction which requires the removal and repair portions of the gums and jawbone to reach impacted wisdom teeth. In a simple extraction, the dentist will loosen the tooth with an instrument called an elevator, before removing it with a pair of forceps.
After your procedure is finished, your dentist may close the socket with dissolvable stitches, and give you a prescription for a pain reliever or antibiotic. For the first few hours, you should avoid eating and speaking. If you are still bleeding, you can bite down gently on a piece of gauze. When you reach a point that you feel like eating, stay with soft, cool foods and keep your food on the side of your mouth opposite the extraction site. After 12 hours, you can brush your teeth, but you should rinse the extraction area with a saltwater solution. Smoking or tobacco use will slow the healing process, and the suction created by smoking, and for that matter using a straw, could rupture or remove the blood clot that has formed in the socket. That clot is protecting the nerves and jawbone in the socket. If it is removed or damaged, you will be vulnerable to infection, and probably in a great deal of pain. That condition is called dry socket, and if you experience it, you should contact your dentist right away.
If you are experiencing pain in your teeth, our dentist, Dr. Blake Dayley can help. To make an appointment at Dayley Family Dental in Boise, Idaho call 208-321-1141 today.