Your permanent teeth should last a lifetime, but not everyone is so lucky. After a thorough evaluation, you and Dr. Shaikh may determine the necessity of a tooth extraction because of damage, decay, infection or risk to neighboring teeth. But having a tooth pulled does not need to be an ordeal. As long as you heed Dr. Shaikh’s advice and consider all your options, you will find the best treatments for your unique needs.
Why Might I Need an Extraction?
Sometimes, she pulls teeth because of severe decay or damage that she sees as beyond repair. She also pulls teeth in cases of advanced periodontal infection (gum disease) when the tooth dies from the inside out because of a serious abscess. She could pull a tooth when it is poorly developed or positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth) and causes disharmony in both the form and function of neighboring teeth.
What is the Process for a Dental Extraction?
At the time of extraction, Dr. Shaikh numbs the area with a local anesthetic and will also provide sedation if you are particularly anxious about the surgery. Then she proceeds to extract the tooth and you can expect to feel a lot of pressure but no pain. Because of the natural structure of tooth roots, the dentist must rock the tooth back and forth to widen the socket for a clean and full removal. If you do feel sensations of pain, please let Dr. Shaikh know right away so she can take measures to make you more comfortable before proceeding. Sometimes, a firmly anchored or impacted tooth requires sectioning, and the dentist needs to cut the tooth in sections for removal. Once the tooth is free of the socket, Dr. Shaikh cleans the area and places sutures if necessary. Then she packs a piece of gauze in the empty socket and have you bite down to help stop any bleeding.
How Do I Take Care of My Mouth After an Extraction?
After the procedure, Dr. Shaikh will give you precise instructions on how to best care for your mouth. Generally, she will give you some prescribed painkillers, a packet of fresh gauze and a few tips to help you ease pain, swelling and reduce the risk of dry socket (when the protective blood clot becomes dislodged). After about 48 hours, all bleeding and swelling should subside and after a few days you should feel fine and well enough to resume normal activities. If you have continued bleeding, severe pain or swelling after two or three days, you should contact our office right away.
After Tooth Extraction
- Right after the procedure you need to maintain pressure on the empty socket for three to four hours, replacing the gauze just before it becomes soaked to help staunch the flow.
- You can apply an icepack for 10 minutes at a time to ease pain and swelling.
- You should limit activity for the next 24 to 48 hours and avoid forcefully rinsing or spitting.
- After 24 hours, you can sterilize your mouth by rinsing with warm salt water but still be cautious about the amount of force you use.
- You should resume your regular dental hygiene but do not brush of floss the extraction site.
- You should not drink from a straw, drink alcohol or smoke during recovery as this could dislodge the blood clot.
- Try to eat soft foods until the extraction site heals and do your best to keep the area clean.