Dr. Stephen A. Price


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Tooth Extractions—The Basics

Tooth Extractions—The Basics

Although tooth extractions should be avoided when possible, sometimes they are necessary to protect your health and the rest of your mouth. Keep reading to learn more.

When are tooth extractions necessary?

While treatments such as root canal therapy, can often save an original tooth, there are some situations where a tooth extraction is necessary. While saving the original tooth is ideal, it isn’t always possible.

Situations where tooth extractions may be necessary include:

  • The wisdom teeth come in at a strange angle or there isn’t room for them in the mouth. If they are left alone they can cause pain and misalign your other teeth. The wisdom teeth aren’t necessary, so there are almost never negative consequences associated with removing them.
  • The tooth is severely infected and root canal therapy is not possible.
  • A tooth needs to be removed to make other orthodontic treatments possible.
  • Someone has a compromised immune system making an infection more dangerous. (For example, someone undergoing chemotherapy)
  • A tooth has severely decayed and can’t be corrected with other treatments.
  • A tooth grows in at the wrong angle or becomes impacted below the gums.

What is the procedure like?

At Dr. Price’s office, there are two types of extractions and which one you need will depend on a number of factors.

The first type of extraction is often referred to as the simple extraction. This type of extraction is performed if the tooth is still visible in the mouth. Forceps and an elevator are used to apply slow and steady pressure to remove the tooth. Local anesthetic is used during this extraction to numb your mouth.

The second type of extraction is surgical extraction. This is usually necessary for teeth that cannot be easily accessed. Surgical extractions are slightly more complicated and sometimes the gums need to be cut into in order to remove the whole tooth. General anesthetic is used to keep the patient asleep and pain free through the procedure. After the tooth is removed, the dentist will put gauze in your mouth to stop the bleeding and in some cases stitches will be used to close the area. After your mouth has healed, your dentist may recommend using a dental implant, bridge, or dentures to fill in the gap created by the extracted tooth.

To learn more about tooth extractions, contact Dr. Stephen Price.

Pain Management for Extracted Teeth

It is no secret that pulling teeth is painful. The amount of pain is based on several factors. The experience is tooth extraction and pain managementdifferent for everyone. How do you know if you are feeling a normal level of pain?

First, you need to keep in mind personal pain tolerance level. If you’ve ever been injured or had surgery, you probably know how much pain you can normally take. If the pain in your mouth is worse than that, you should talk to your dentist. Infections, dry sockets and other problems are common after tooth extractions and can cause severe pain.

Most often, people who have a tooth removed feel pain that is not severe and can be managed with medication or over the counter pain medicines, like ibuprofen and Tylenol. A more severe pain around 12 hours after having the tooth removed is normal. This pain usually disappears as the healing process continues.

Another type of pain develops around the extraction site, lasting for several days. This is the most severe type and lasts the longest. Right after surgery, a pain medication will be given. This medicine is in the form of a pill and is simply taken with water. The more severe the pain is, the higher up on the scale the painkillers go. Dentists will prescribe over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, or a prescription like hydrocodone.

How to Quickly Recover from Your Springfield Tooth Extraction

Here at our Virginia dental practice, tooth extractions could range from being a surgical procedure to a more complex type of surgery. The former is applied when the tooth is still visible in the mouth and the extraction will only require minimal equipment such as forceps and an elevator. On the other hand, the latter is required when the teeth in question cannot be easily accessed because they have not fully erupted or they are fractured under the gum line.

The key to quickly recovering from your tooth extraction is to allow the blood clot to form to help cover the extraction site. Here are a few tips to how to promote such quick and safe healing!

  • Take it easy following extraction. Avoid bending and heavy lifting for the first 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Exercises may be postpone as well.
  • Do not wait for pain to set in. Take pain relievers as prescribed. This applies as well to antibiotics if you have been prescribed with it.
  • Numbness is normal for the first few hours following extraction yet if you still feel numb after 6 hours post-procedure, it is best to contact your dentist right away. Although the effects of the anesthesia may have been extended, it is best to let your oral surgeon know about it.
  • Avoid rinsing vigorously or drinking through a straw for the first 24 hours. After this initial period, you can rinse at least 3 to 4 times a day with a combination of salt and warm water to rid your teeth of food debris.
  • Brushing should be done once the swelling has subsided. When brushing, be careful not to brush near the extraction to avoid dislodging the blood clot.
  • Stick to a liquid or soft food diet during the first 24 to 48 hours.

Do you still have questions about tooth extractions here in our Springfield clinic? For a free no-obligation consultation, call us at (703) 750-9404 or fill out this contact form. We look forward to helping you achieve a naturally beautiful smile!




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