Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. There are many reasons why a dentist would recommend a tooth extraction, but the most common reason is when the tooth is badly damaged or decayed. The tooth may be so damaged that it cannot be saved with restorative dental work, and the tooth may need to be completely removed.
What causes a tooth extraction?
Sometimes, a tooth cannot be saved and must be removed. This can be due to extensive decay, a crack or chip in the tooth, or an infection.
Tooth extractions are a common dental procedure. Dentists will recommend extractions for a variety of reasons that include the following:
- To extract a crooked, partially erupted, or impacted wisdom teeth
- To remove severely damaged teeth with gum disease
- To extract teeth with dental trauma
- For orthodontic reasons
- In case of a cracked or decayed tooth that cannot be restored
What happens during a tooth extraction?
When it’s time to remove a damaged tooth, your dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic. This will keep you from feeling any pain during the procedure. If you wish, your dentist can also provide sedation to help you relax. During your procedure, your dentist will use a tool called an elevator to loosen the gum tissue on top of the tooth. Then, they will use forceps to remove the tooth. To make sure that the site is healed properly, your dentist may recommend a few follow-up visits.
After your tooth extraction procedure, it’s important for you to know how to take care of yourself as you heal. For the first few days, avoid:
- Hot foods
- Hard foods
Additionally, you’ll need to:
- Follow any directions that were given to you by the dental team
- Take any medications as prescribed
- Rinse with salt water after meals (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water)
- Resume brushing and flossing your teeth as normal
If home hygiene isn’t possible, your dentist may provide you with a prescription for a mouthwash that will help control the bleeding and soothe your gums.
Tips for quick recovery after a tooth extraction procedure
- Avoid smoking for at least 48 hours following tooth extraction. Smoking can delay healing and cause complications.
- Refrain from drinking from a straw or rinsing the mouth vigorously for the first few days.
- Maintain a soft diet for the first 24 to 48 hours after tooth extraction.
- Avoid strenuous activity for 24 to 48 hours after tooth extraction. Rest is recommended instead.
At LAGOS Periodontics & Dental Implants, Rodrigo A. Lagos, DDS, MS, practices a full scope of periodontics with expertise in preventive periodontics, cosmetic periodontal surgery, gum grafting, and dental implants. To schedule an appointment, call us at 760-568-3421 or visit our practice at 36945 Cook St.Suite 101, Palm Desert, CA 92260.