How Are Teeth Removed?
Madison Dentists Explain Tooth Extraction, Recovery and Replacement
Healthy permanent (“adult”) teeth can last a lifetime. Unfortunately, disease and injury can cause adult teeth to fall out. Sometimes teeth need to be professionally extracted so they can be replaced or to facilitate another oral health procedure. The dentists of Total Care Dental help Madison patients with their dental health including tooth replacement.
Dental extraction is fairly easy for our professional dentists. To start, the tooth is gently rocked to loosen the gums. Next, TCD dentists use forceps to grip the tooth and literally pull the tooth out. Then gauze is placed on the gums to control bleeding and help a clot form. Just like that your tooth extraction procedure is over. After the area heals we can begin the replacement process.
Before your tooth is removed, an exam from our dentists will be necessary to determine if there are any potential complications. Teeth and their roots are fairly straight, making a clear path for removal. However, molars and wisdom teeth can be harder to remove due to their pronged roots and placement in the jaw. An X-ray may be used to show the shape of the roots. Our dentists will study the film to plan for a smooth extraction. In some cases the tooth’s crown may need to be broken to facilitate removal. If root damage is discovered, a surgical extraction may be necessary to get every piece out.
Situations Leading to Tooth Removal
There are many reasons you may need a tooth or teeth pulled, including:
- Making Room for Permanent Teeth – For some children, baby teeth will need to be pulled to make room for incoming permanent teeth. Make sure your kids are ready for losing baby teeth by explain how lost teeth are a normal part of growing up.
- Overcrowding – While braces can straighten teeth, there needs to be enough room. Removing a permanent tooth can keep the remaining teeth in line. This is also why wisdom teeth are extracted.
- Getting Dentures, Crowns, or Bridges – If you need a to replace some teeth, more may have to be removed to achieve successful implantation. Our Four Life Changing Implants involve same day tooth extraction and replacement.
- Trauma – An injured or diseased tooth may need to be extracted if the tooth is beyond repair. Some adult teeth may fall out on their own. Follow our guide on what to do if you lose a permanent tooth.
- Other Medical Procedure – Though rare, some medical procedures like chemotherapy may necessitate a tooth being removed to reduce the chances of infection.
Whatever reason you have for tooth extraction, the dentists of TCD in Madison will gladly go over all your options.
How Painful Is Tooth Removal?
Depending on your exact situation, you will have a selection of anesthetic to choose from for your extraction. Local anesthetic at the removal site is usually all that is necessary. While you should not experience pain, you may feel the pressure on your gums change as each tooth is removed.
Children having a loose baby tooth removed likely won’t feel anything.
What Happens to the Space Where a Tooth Was?
The hole left behind by a tooth doesn’t stay empty for long. Gauze will be used to stop any bleeding and allow a clot to form. In some cases, stitches may be needed to close the socket. The gums will swell temporarily. Over time, the area will be filled in by gums or teeth which will naturally shift.
The space may eventually be filled with replacement teeth like dentures or crowns. Braces can moves other teeth to fill the sockets. Wisdom teeth, being in the very back of the mouth, won’t require replacements.
Side Effects of Tooth Extraction
Like any medical procedure, there are some side effects to be expected with tooth extraction. Discomfort during the healing process is common, along with swelling along the jawline.
Dry socket is one of the most common issues to occur after tooth removal. If a clot does not form at the extraction site or is knocked out, the socket will be exposed to all the air you breathe and food you eat. If you notice a bad taste or odor in your mouth within 3 days of a tooth extraction, come back to Total Care Dental. We can treat your dry socket so you begin healing properly.
Be Prepared for Extraction
Your Total Care Dental dentist will go over what you should do in the days before your extraction. You may be prescribed antibiotics or other medication in advance to reduce the chance of infection during the procedure.
You should not eat or drink for several hours before your procedure. Do not smoke on the day of your surgery.
Even if you only have local anesthetic, you will want a friend or family member to drive you home after your procedure. At your home, have a place ready for relaxing during your recovery.
Tooth Extraction Recovery Methods
After a tooth is removed, you should take it easy for a few days. Make yourself comfortable but do not lie down flat, as this can cause bleeding to continue. Instead, sit and sleep upright for the first day. You may want to take time off from work and avoid strenuous activities.
- Remove and replace the gauze every 30-45 minutes starting 1 hour after removal until bleeding stops. Get the gauze damp with warm water before placing in your mouth. Bite down but do not use too much pressure. You want the material to stay in place without moving too much.
- Do not smoke, spit, or drink from a straw after your extraction. The motion involved in all of these activities can disturb the removal site and lead to bleeding. In some cases, these actions can lead to dry socket.
- Use a cold compress or ice pack on your jaw for 10-20 minutes at a time, with a 20 minute break between sessions. This will reduce swelling.
- Do not brush the extraction site, but do continue to clean your teeth. Brush and floss the rest of your teeth as gently as possible. Use a saltwater rinse after 24 hours to clean out your mouth following meals.
- Eat soft foods (applesauce, yogurt, and ice-cream) for your first few meals. Avoid any food you have to chew and hot liquids for at least 24 hours. Do not drink alcohol during this time.
Your mouth should be fully healed within 2 weeks. If your mouth does not feel normal after this time, make an appointment with Total Care Dental. Always contact our dentists if you experience continued bleeding after 24 hours, develop a fever, or cannot swallow.
Tooth extraction is a completely normal part of keeping your mouth healthy. Arrange a consultation with our local Madison dentists to learn more about tooth removal.