A tooth extraction, also known as exodontia, is one of the most common procedures performed at a dentist's office. The procedure involves removing or pulling a tooth. An extraction may be necessary if there is disease, trauma or overcrowding.
Causes for Tooth Extraction
Tooth extractions may be performed for the following reasons and/or to remove the following conditions:
- Wisdom teeth
- Decayed teeth
- Broken teeth
- Loose teeth
- In preparation for braces
Tooth Extraction Procedure
After the dentist has decided that a tooth extraction is necessary, an X-ray will be used to further evaluate the tooth. The extraction procedure may be performed under local anesthesia to minimize discomfort, or general anesthesia if more than one tooth is removed. There are two types of dental extractions:
This is an extraction of a tooth that can be seen in the mouth. In a simple extraction, forceps are used to remove the tooth.
A surgical extraction is performed on teeth that have broken at the gum line or have not descended into the mouth, such as wisdom teeth. It is a more complex extraction procedure that may be performed by an oral surgeon. This procedure may require general anesthesia.
After the extraction, stitches may be necessary; alternatively, a bridge, implant or a denture will be used to replace one or more teeth.
Who Performs Tooth Extractions?
Dentists and oral surgeons are trained to perform tooth extractions in a variety of situations. Drs. Eugene and Olga Titov have been in practice for several years and have performed many extraction procedures. Their training and techniques focus on safety, efficacy, and comfort.
When is Tooth Extraction Recommended?
Saving your natural teeth is our top priority. Tooth extraction is recommended only when absolutely necessary to support your long-term oral health. Some of the situations that may warrant tooth extraction include extensive damage due to injury or decay, severe periodontal disease that would result in tooth loss, overcrowding, and impaction. Extractions for overcrowding and impaction may coincide with orthodontic treatment to correct misalignment or a bad bite.
Can I Be Put to Sleep When Undergoing Tooth Extraction?
You can receive sedation for your tooth extraction procedure, yes! We are experienced in the use of several different types of dental sedation and can tailor your treatment process to your exact needs. Options for sedation include more conservative techniques like nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation, during which you would be awake but completely relaxed. We also perform IV moderate sedation and deep sedation. If you feel anxious about undergoing tooth extraction, talk to your dentist. We are happy to discuss how the various forms of dental sedation can help you through your appointment.
Can I Eat After Tooth Extraction?
After having a tooth pulled, it is important to allow a clot to form. This only takes a few hours, but the clot is relatively fragile for some time. For this reason, your diet for the first 24 to 48 hours should consist of foods that do not require chewing. Examples include healthy broths, yogurt, applesauce, and mashed potatoes. You may start chewing the day after your extraction but should limit your diet to soft foods at that time. Gradually, you can add in foods that are denser or crunchier, but this can take more than a week.
Can I Smoke After Tooth Extraction?
You should refrain from smoking for at least five days following your tooth extraction. Smoking, as well as nicotine use, can inhibit your healing and prolong your recovery. The suction action of smoking is also harmful. This can dislodge the clot that forms to protect the wound in your mouth after your procedure. If the clot is dislodged, there is a risk of the wound drying out or becoming infected. Both situations can cause unnecessary discomfort.
How Can I Promote Healing to Speed Up the Recovery Time?
There are a few ways that you can promote efficient healing after tooth extraction. Whether you've had one tooth removed or several, we recommend the following:
- Keep the gauze in place for at least two hours.
- Follow your dentist's post-op care instructions to a tee.
- Prioritize resting and taking it easy for 24 to 48 hours. No exercise!
- Avoid touching the treatment area, even with your tongue.
- Stay hydrated with water but DO NOT drink through a straw.
- Eat soft foods for one to two days.
- If needed, apply an ice pack to the outside of the cheek to soothe swelling and soreness.
Recovery from a Tooth Extraction
After the extraction, patients may experience a certain amount of pain. The pain may be relieved by:
- Applying ice to the external area if swelling occurs
- Rinsing with warm salt water
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication
Antibiotics may be prescribed to fight infection. Patients are also advised to avoid certain foods and hot liquids for 24 hours after the procedure. A follow-up appointment may be necessary to remove stitches.
Most patients recover completely from a tooth extraction within one to two weeks.
Complications of Tooth Extraction
The dental extraction procedure is safe for most patients with minimal to no complications. While most complications are rare, they may include:
- Accidental damage to surrounding teeth
- Fractured jaw
- Soreness in the jaw
- Dry socket or exposure of bone in the tooth socket
Patients may also experience side effects from local and general anesthesia. The dentist or surgeon will discuss any potential side effects before the procedure.
- National Institutes of Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- U.S. National Library of Medicine
Contact Us To Make An Appointment
If a tooth is giving you problems, don't wait to talk to a dentist. We are dedicated to offering friendly, comfortable care in a high-tech office. To schedule your appointment, contact us today at (239) 331-3575. We proudly serve patients in Naples, Bonita Springs, and nearby areas of Collier County, Florida.