At Chappaqua Dentistry, our dental team will do all we can to ensure that the health of your teeth is protected. The structure and foundation they provide for your mouth and face should be preserved. Sometimes, preservation is not possible in cases of severe damage or decay and the tooth may need to be removed completely. When this happens, we will need to carry out a tooth extraction in order to restore your smile.
Tooth Extraction Is A Last Resort, But Sometimes Necessary For Your Overall Health
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Let’s take a look at what tooth extraction and the procedure involved.
In the majority of cases, tooth extraction is considered as the last option when dealing with a decayed or damaged tooth. Other options may be available before that, such as a filling that involves removing the decay and using resin to fill the cavity left behind. Sometimes, we may be able to remove the affected tooth enamel in order to fit a dental crown on top that looks and functions like a natural tooth.
In cases of serious decay and damage, we may find that there are no other options than having to perform a tooth extraction. This usually happens when the damage to severe enough that there won’t be enough healthy tooth left to support a filling or a crown. When that’s the case, we will have to remove the tooth completely. However, that does not mean that patients are without options to help restore their smile. Dental implants, dentures, and fixed bridges can ensure a complete smile, aesthetically and functionally.
The case mentioned above, of heavy decay or damage, is the most likely reason we will recommend a tooth extraction. However, the following reasons may also justify this treatment:
No matter why we have to perform the extraction, the process always begins with a consultation with your dentist. We will do what we can to ensure a safe procedure and to make sure we only carry out a tooth extraction when necessary. As such, our team will look at your medical and dental records, teeth X-rays, and may prescribe antibiotics if you have an infection or condition that weakening your immune system.
To begin with, we will most likely provide an injection of local anesthetic, numbing the area where the tooth is to be removed to minimize pain or discomfort. If you are a patient who suffers from severe fear or anxiety when it comes to dental treatments, however, we can provide general anesthetic or other forms of sedation. This may be done to help you remain calm or to put you to sleep for the duration of the treatment.
If your teeth are impacted, first your dentist will remove the gun and bone tissue that may be covering the tooth. Then, forceps are used to loosen the tooth. This is often enough to be able to remove the tooth completely, but others teeth may need to be removed in pieces.
When the extraction is complete, bleeding is to be expected. For that reason, your dentist will apply a gauze pad to the area and ask you to bite down on it. You may also have self-dissolving stitches put in place to close the gum edges around the socket and to help them heal. Sometimes, a blood clot can break loose when the bone is exposed, leading to a painful condition called dry socket. If that happens, your dentist will use a sedative dressing to protect it and to alleviate the pain, helping a new clot form in its place.
Following the surgery, you will be monitored for some time, but then you will be able to return home. It’s highly recommended that you prepare transport in advance, since driving is not recommended. You will experience discomfort, and numbness. The numbness will wear away quickly, and the discomfort should fade within a few days.
Prescribed painkillers may be recommended to help with recovery. Your dentist will also recommend you bite down on the gauze pad in place and to change it when necessary, so it doesn’t become soaked in blood. Your dentist will also have other recommendations, such as limiting physical activity, applying an ice pack to the area for 24 hours, and avoiding rising or spitting forcefully.
We also will also recommend avoiding solid foods, smoking, and drinking from a straw for 24 hours. You can still brush and floss, but naturally you will want to avoid the area where the tooth was extracted.
If you have any signs of infection (such as fever, chills, nausea, excessive redness or swelling, or shortness of breath), you should contact us as soon as you can.
Following an extraction, some restorative treatments are no longer an option, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your smile. Dental implants, bridges, and dentures may all still be perfectly suitable solutions that can restore the appearance, function, and structure of your teeth.
Schedule an appointment with the dental team at Chappaqua Dentistry if you believe you may be in need of a tooth extraction. If you do, then the sooner you make the appointment, the better. We will do what we can to save the tooth or to otherwise ensure a safe, careful extraction. Contact us today!