Tooth ExtractionsSurfside, FL
Tooth extractions involve removing a tooth from the jawbone. When a tooth has suffered extensive damage or infection and cannot be repaired, the last resort may be to remove the tooth.
The Tooth Extraction Process
The dentist will perform an X-ray on the jaw to determine how best to proceed with the extraction procedure. The X-ray will show the position of the upper teeth relative to the sinuses, the position of the nerves in the lower jaw and any infection, tumor or bone disease.
Patients have to provide their complete medical and dental history, as well as current medications (prescription, over-the-counter, and supplements), to ensure they are good candidates for the procedure. The dentist may prescribe antibiotics for use before and after surgery. The factors guiding this decision include risk of infection, the state of the patient's immune system, and the presence of certain medical conditions or other extensive surgical procedures.
Patients who have a stuffy nose, cold or cough days before the surgery may not be able to undergo it until after they recover. The same thing applies if nausea and vomiting occur the night before the procedure. Smoking should be avoided following the surgery because it can cause a painful condition known as dry socket.
The patient should arrange for transport home and supervision following the surgery. It is important to follow other post-surgery instructions as well for a full recovery.
How tooth extraction is done
There are two major techniques for tooth extractions. A simple extraction is done for a tooth that is visible in the mouth. The dentist will loosen the tooth with a device called an elevator. After this, the dentist will use forceps to extract the tooth.
A surgical extraction is more complex. It is done when the tooth has broken off at or is still under the gum line. The dentist will make a small incision in the gum. The procedure may require removing some bone material around the tooth or breaking the tooth further to extract the pieces.
In most cases, a simple extraction can be completed with only local anesthesia. For a surgical extraction, the patient should also receive local anesthesia but this may be supplemented by other forms of pain management. Patients with anxiety concerns can discuss options with the dentist prior to the surgery.
Restoring the tooth with dental implants
After completing tooth extractions, a dental prosthetic is required to restore the tooth to its original appearance. Restorations using dental implants are typically the closest match to natural teeth that the dentist can provide. An implant is a titanium metal post that replaces the root of the lost teeth and supports a new prosthetic such as a crown, bridge or denture.
The implant is placed into the socket of the extracted tooth. The dentist may place the implant immediately following the extraction or wait a while after the tooth extraction procedure to allow the bone to heal. The jaw bone must be sufficiently dense to support the implant. A bone graft may be performed to fill the hole. If the patient has suffered significant bone loss due to infection or degradation over time, the dentist can augment the bone with bone grafts so that the implants can be placed.
After inserting the implant, the gum will be stitched up. The implant will remain in the jaw and is typically allowed to heal and fuse with the bone before the dentist places the final dental restoration. Depending on how many teeth are being replaced, this may be a crown or a fixed bridge or dentures.
Implant restorations can improve the quality of life in patients who needed teeth extracted and give them a confidence boost. They are also easy to maintain, just like natural teeth. The dentist can discuss dental implant restoration options before proceeding with tooth extractions.
Initial healing can take about two weeks. The dentist will provide guidelines on what to do after the extraction surgery to ensure a comfortable recovery. Here are the essential points to note:
- It is normal to experience discomfort after the procedure. Surgical tooth extractions are usually more painful than simple extractions. The dentist may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to help with the pain. The patient needs to contact the dentist if the pain persists for over a week.
- Placing ice packs on the face can help alleviate facial swelling. If the jaw feels sore and stiff, a warm compress may be more effective.
- After the tooth extraction, the patient will be asked to bite on gauze for some minutes to promote blood clotting. Minor bleeding may occur a few hours after the procedure, but it should stop soon.
- Patients should take a diet of soft foods for some days after the procedure. It is important to avoid putting undue pressure on the extraction site.
- A gentle rinse with warm salted water starting a day after surgery can help clean the area.
- The patient should avoid smoking during recovery as it may affect the bone’s ability to heal.
Risks of Tooth Extractions
Few risks are associated with tooth extractions and dental implant procedures, especially when performed by a qualified dentist. If the dentist recommends the procedure, the benefits generally far outweigh the potential complications.
Usually, after extracting a tooth, a blood clot should form in the tooth socket. If the blood clot does not happen or gets dislodged, the bone inside the socket may be exposed, a condition known as dry socket. To treat this, the dentist can apply a dressing on the area for some days to encourage the formation of a new clot. Patients are advised to contact the dentist if any of these complications occur:
- Swelling and redness at the surgery site
- Prolonged bleeding over 12 hours
- Chest pain and breath shortage
- High fever and chills or other symptoms of infection
If a tooth extraction is recommended for you, our dentist can also discuss replacement options with you. Dental implants are reliable tooth replacements for patients who are missing one or more teeth.
Request an appointment here: Contact Page or call Bal Harbour Smiles at 305-440-4229 for an appointment in our Surfside office.
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