At Smile Store, we do our best to avoid extractions where possible, but in some cases there is nothing that can be done for your tooth. Severe decay, advanced periodontal (gum) disease, or a bad break of the tooth that can’t be repaired would all necessitate an extraction, as would very badly impacted teeth.
We will always try to find an alternative to removing a single tooth and leaving a hole in your dentition, as this causes problems with chewing, jaw pressure, balance of the bite and so on. We’ll discuss alternatives to extractions with you, as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.
The Extraction Process
We will ensure your tooth, jawbone and gums are all thoroughly numbed with a local anaesthetic. Don’t forget, we offer sedation dentistry for nervous patients. You won’t feel pain during an extraction, but you will feel a lot of pressure, as the tooth has to be rocked fairly firmly to widen the socket for removal. Your nerves are unable to feel pain because of the anaesthesia but they will feel the pressure; an odd sensation. If at any point you need a break or are unhappy of course we’ll stop!
Sectioning a Tooth
Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. It just means that the doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.
After Care Post-Extraction
Blood clots form in the empty socket and this is actually an important part of the healing process so be careful not to dislodge the clot. Do not rinse or spit for 24 hours after the extraction and avoid use of a straw, smoking or hot liquid. Bleeding Some bleeding may occur. Place a piece of gauze (not cotton!) over the empty tooth socket and bite down firmly for 40 minutes to an hour to control the bleed.
If swelling occurs you can reduce it by placing ice on your face for 15 minutes in repeated cycles over the first 24 hours. Pain and Medications If you experience pain you might use non-prescription pain relief medications such as Ibuprofen. Your Specialist will discuss appropriate pain relief with you.
For most extractions just make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A liquid diet may be recommended for 24 hours. Soft foods are best initially. Brushing and Cleaning After the extraction avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. After that you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the site.
Beginning 24 hours after the extraction you can rinse with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed.
Dry socket is when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged and the healing is significantly delayed. Following the extraction, instructions will be provided to help reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain, which doesn’t appear until three to four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry. If you develop a dry socket, we can apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to sooth the pain.
After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. However after 1- 2 weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience.
Extracted teeth can be replaced with:
Dental implants, upon which a crown, bridge or denture can be anchored. Please see Dental Implants section for more information.