Facial traumas and infection are some of the significant causes of tooth damage. The throbbing pain of a bad tooth can affect your everyday activities. A dentist may choose to use simple procedures like dental fillings to repair the damage. If the tooth is severely damaged, getting dental surgery may be the only possible solution. That is why if you have an aching tooth, you need to get medical attention from a dentist. At Washington Dental, we do our best to examine possible treatment for your tooth before suggesting a tooth extraction. Our qualified professionals have the power to fix your failing tooth and retain your smile. We serve the areas of Lomita, Torrance, Los Angeles, and Carson, CA.
What is Tooth Extraction?
Tooth extraction is also referred to as tooth removal. When a tooth has been damaged by decay or has been broken, a root canal or filling can fix it. However, if the damage is severe, tooth extraction may be required.
Various reasons can make your dentist opt for tooth extraction. These reasons include:
Some of the tooth infection that may lead to an extraction include:
- Gum disease
- Dental cavities
- Dental infections
- Tooth Injury or trauma to the surrounding bone
- Dental prosthesis preparation
- High risk of infection due to low immunity caused by either organ transplant or chemotherapy
- If you have crowded teeth, your tooth could be removed to create space for braces
- Kids teeth failing to fall out at the right age
- Preparing the mouth for orthodontia
Visit your dentist regularly to ensure that your dental health is okay and to avoid tooth extraction in the future.
Types of Tooth Extraction
Various factors determine the type of tooth extraction. Some of these factors include:
- The tooth’s size
- It’s shape
- Its location in the mouth
- It’s position
Dentists categorize extractions into two types:
- Simple extraction — It is an extraction of a tooth that is over the gum and can be removed using a single piece.
- Surgical extraction — This is more complex because it involves the bone and gum tissue removal. In some instances, it consists of the extraction of both teeth. It may require the dentist to remove the tooth in pieces.
Although the wisdom teeth emerge last, they are the first ones to be extracted for most people. The extraction of wisdom teeth is standard in oral surgeries.
Preparation for Tooth Extraction
It is vital to have a consultation with your dentist before the extraction.
Your dentist will inquire about your medical history at the consultation and if you are on any current medication.
Depending on the amount of bone and teeth to be extracted, your dentist may prescribe certain medications for you to start talking days before the surgery. The dentist may also request you to stop taking various drugs before the surgery.
On the surgery day, you may also be offered some medications.
Stopping Blood Thinners
To prevent blood clots forming in the vessels, most people use blooding thinning medication. However, these medications can cause severe bleeding during extraction.
There are various ways that a dentist can control bleeding during extraction. These ways are:
- Stitching the extraction area
- The dentist can also apply clotting drugs on the gum
- He/she can fill the teeth socket with dissolvable gauze or foam.
Applying pressure while using gauze may also prevent excessive bleeding.
If you are using blood thinners, it is essential to notify your dentist during your consultation. Your dentist may request a blood test to know if you should quit the medication entirely or shift to another blood thinner.
You don't need to stop taking your blood thinners before your tooth extraction. If you are thinking of quitting, kindly consult your dentist.
In rare cases, your dentist may recommend that you take antibiotics before tooth extraction.
If you have dental infections with extensive symptoms like malaise or fever and other local oral swellings, antibiotics may be used as a treatment method. If your toothache has no swelling, you do not have to take antibiotics. Always consult your dentist before starting on antibiotics.
Having a high risk of infective endocarditis, an infection of the interior lining of heart chambers, or the heart valves may also cause antibiotics prescription.
According to The American Heart Association, people with various heart complications risk contracting the 'infective endocarditis' after dental surgery.
To avoid this infection, The American Dental Association, together with The American Heart Association, advise people with either of the following to take antibiotics before any dental surgery:
- Cardiac valve repair with the prosthetic material history
- Prosthetic cardiac valve
- Any congenital heart abnormality
- Cardiac transplant with structural valve abnormalities
- Infective endocarditis history
Anesthesia During Extraction
During the extraction, the dentist will inject a local anesthetic near the extraction part. It will help numb the area to prevent you from feeling pain. The numbness will not go away immediately after the surgery. It usually takes a few minutes after the surgery.
If your anxiety levels are high during the procedure, you can ask for sedative medication or more anesthetic to reduce the anxiety. The dentist may offer:
- Oral sedative medication
- General anesthetic
- Nitrous oxide (the laughing gas)
- IV, sedation, sedation, or intravenous
If you are given a general anesthetic, You will be fully asleep during the extraction.
Your dentist may lack these options in his office; therefore, you must discuss it during the consultation.
Your dentist will always take an X-ray of your tooth before beginning the process. This is to help them assess the angle of the tooth's root and the curvature.
After the local anesthetic has caused numbness in the area, the dentist will start the extraction process. As discussed above, depending on various factors, he/she may remove the tooth as one piece or in multiple parts.
In some instances, where the tooth is covered by the bone or gum tissue, the dentist may remove the bone area that blocks or cut a bit of gum away.
You are not su[pposed to feel pain; however, you may feel pressure against the tooth. You may also hear the cracking of teeth or bone and grinding. The experience can be distressing and unpleasant to many.
You should alert your dentist if you feel any pain, and he will add more anesthetic.
After the extraction is done, your dentist may decide to stitch you up or carry out additional p[rocedures to avoid excessive bleeding. Your dentist will also place a thick gauze on the extraction part and ask you to bite on it. It will absorb blood and begin the clotting activity.
How Long Does the Process Take?
The procedure starts with the tooth's numbing, which may take 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the anesthetic used.
The extraction takes ten to half an hour, depending on your condition and tooth and the type of tooth.
Then there is the closing of the space, which takes ten to twenty minutes depending on how comfortable you are during the extraction. If the extraction process takes longer, closing the space where the tooth was removed will also take longer.
To ensure your safety, after the extraction, your dentist may urge you to stay until the anesthetic falls away. This process may take twenty minutes to one hour.
After you are done with all the process, you are allowed to go home. Remember, you always report to the dentist on the day of your extraction.
Various factors determine the aftercare of tooth extraction. Some of these factors include tooth extracted because some teeth like the canine have longer roots than the molars and may take more time to heal. In most cases, the healing process takes three days.
Maintaining the blood clot that forms where the tooth was extracted is one of the essential aftercare. It helps reduce the risk of complications like the dry socket.
The first days after your tooth extraction, you should focus on forming a blood clot in the extraction area and observing general mouth hygiene.
At times, low bleeding takes up to 24 hours following an extraction, but you need to contact your dentist if you are bleeding severely. The following are some of the aftercare tips for day 1-2 after the extraction:
Relax and Recharge
Avoid doing lots of activities immediately after the procedure. Let your body heal and be cautious about what you put in your mouth, including your food.
Dental Gauzes Change
After the procedure, your dentist will place a thick layer of gauze over the part and ask you to bite. Bitting it firmly with pressure helps to reduce the bleeding.
Let the gauze stay at the same place for about 25 minutes. If the gauze is full of blood, replace it with a clean one.
Most people bleed for 1 to 2 days after the extraction.
The numbness typically lasts for a few hours after the procedure. If the numbness continues for long, contact your dentist. After the numbness goes away, you are likely to feel some pain.
Your dentist will prescribe drugs to ease the pain and any inflammation caused during the procedure. Painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen may also help to reduce the pain.
Control the Swelling
You may have mild swelling in the extraction area, which is normal and goes away after some time. You can also opt to apply ice on the swollen area to reduce the swelling.
Avoid Disturbing the Extraction Part
You should avoid disturbing the extraction area for at least 24 hours. Irritating the part can make the healing process slow and prevent blood clots from forming accordingly. Therefore, you should avoid:
- Using a straw
- Sucking on the extracted part
- Touching the extracted site with your tongue
- Vigorously rinsing the mouth
- Eating crunchy or solid food
- Avoid using mouthwash that has an alcohol or drinking alcohol
- Do not eat scorching foods
Take Care When Eating
You are supposed to drink lots of fluids and eat tender, healthy foods following a tooth extraction.
Once you can chew, introduce solid foods again but in small portions. Your dentist will most likely advise you to chew on the other side that was not extracted until your wound heals completely.
Brushing and Flossing
It is essential that after an extraction, you floss and brush as usual but do it carefully and avoid disturbing the blood clots.
After the procedure, you can add a pinch of salt to warm water and use it to rinse your mouth.
Some of the medications given by your dentist to ease the pain may cause nausea, which may lead to vomiting, and may cause more pressure in the extracted area, causing more bleeding. You should take your medication together with a small portion of food to avoid nausea. If the nausea increases, consult with your dentist and see if you can supplement the pain medication with mild pain relievers.
Aftercare for Multiple Teeth
At times, your dentist may extract several teeth at once. If you are undergoing more than one tooth extraction, your dentist will likely use general anesthesia rather than the local anesthesia.
This anesthesia will make you unconscious during the whole process. Your dentist will also give you instructions before the procedure, for instance, the food you are supposed to avoid for a particular time. Also, after the extraction, someone else should drive you home.
After several teeth extraction, aftercare can be complicated more so If the teeth extracted are on different parts of the mouth.
Your dentist may book an appointment for your days after the extraction. He.she may also suggest the use of clotting aids where necessary.
Aftercare for Wisdom Teeth
Most wisdom teeth extraction is done at an early stage, which makes the healing process comfortable. In some instances, the wisdom teeth extraction may take longer to heal than other teeth. In this case, you may need to take some time off school or work.
After the surgery, the dentist may need to use different methods like clotting aids or stitches to fasten the healing process. The aftercare may be the same as that in other teeth, but some dentists may offer additional tips to help in your healing.
Considerations for Children
Tooth extraction for children is slightly different from that of adults. While performing the procedure, dentists use general antiasthma to ensure that the child is fully asleep during the process. Some of the reasons for tooth extraction include:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Damaged tooth by trauma or injury
- Baby teeth remain in the same place for a long and blocking adult teeth. Teeth extraction may allow the adult teeth to grow and reduce the risk of undergoing orthodontic treatment in the future
- Tooth removal can also help orthodontic treatment
The healing process is also slightly different from that of an adult. Parents should observe the healing process of their children and their general oral health. They should ask them to report any bleeding, pain, and discharge.
Post-Procedure Care for Your Child
Just like in adults aftercare, the dentist will place gauze on the extraction area and ask your child to bite until blood clots are formed or until the bleeding stops. There is also at-home care for your child to fasten the healing process. They include:
- Give your child the prescribed medication to ease the pain and soothe the jaw
- To reduce inflammation, place an ice cube on the swollen parts
- Following the extraction, serve him/her with soft food for 24hours
- Warn your child against drinking with a straw or spitting
- Ensure your child maintains oral hygiene by brushing usually
- Follow any dentist directions and call him/her if your child has severe swelling, pain, chills, and fever
After tooth extraction, you may experience a dry socket. It is normal, and it is not an infection. When bones in the extraction part become exposed because the blood clot has dissolved or the blood clots have not been formed.
Dry socket happens days after the extraction and can cause intense pain and bad breath. You should see your dentist if you have severe pain three days after the procedure.
Part of the treatment involves placing a herbal medicinal paste on the exposed bone. However, you can also avoid this problem by keenly following your dentist's aftercare guidelines, mostly avoiding smoking after the procedure.
Another complication is an infection that occurs when bacteria infect the socket's gumline two days after the procedure.
You should contact your dentist if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Persistent swelling
- Swollen glands around the neck
- If redness and pus around the extraction part
If you feel okay and have no complication in your recovery, it is unnecessary to revisit the dentist because stitches dissolve and do not require removal. However, your dentist may schedule your appointment a week later to check on your healing process.
Costs of Tooth Extraction
Different dentists charge differently. However, some factors determine the value of tooth extraction. These factors include:
- The type of extraction
- The location a person lives
- The performing the procedure, general dentists charge less as compared to oral surgeons
- The complication of the extraction
Checking in With Your Dentist
If you notice anything unusual after the procedure, it is essential to reach out to your dentist. You should look out for these signs:
- Nerve damage — if the nerve around the area was damaged, you will feel numbness and pain in the chin or lower lip.
- Dry socket — severe pain caused by blood clot not forming
- Infection — some of its symptoms include whitish discharge from the extracted part, high fever, and consistent pain and swelling.
- Bleeding — Consistent bleeding that does not stop even after several remedies.
- Damage to other teeth — If the teeth next to the extraction part have a crown or a large filling, the dentist might damage it unknowingly.
Tooth Extraction Benefits
Although tooth extraction is seen as an invading way of dental treatment, and in most cases, it is the last option for treatment, it also has some benefits, which include:
- Tooth extraction prevents the spread of infection and tooth decay.
- It can help with teeth alignment issues. Tooth misalignments may cause dental issues because it is hard to clean overlapped teeth. It encourages gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral problems.
- Tooth extraction can ease your pain and help you retain your beautiful smile. Once the extraction process is complete, the problem of a damaged tooth automatically ends.
Tooth Replacement Options
After one or two weeks, you will have healed and able to take your regular diet. The extraction part will also have a new gum tissue and bone. It may still feel uncomfortable bitting with a missing tooth, and you may request your dentist to replace the extracted tooth.
If your tooth was extracted due to alignment issues or crowding, it could not be replaced. But if the extraction was due to decay, your dentist will discuss various replacement options only if the empty socket is completely healed.
Dental implants are the standard tooth replacement. A metal screw is inserted in the jaw bone to replace the tooth root and replace the visible part of your tooth; a porcelain crown is implanted. These implants will put pressure on the bone in the empty socket as a natural tooth would. It prevents this bone from deteriorating.
If your dentist finds that you are not fit for an implant, he/she will suggest a dental bridge for your missing tooth. The dental bridge is fixed on the extraction part with dental cement and only covers the crown part of your tooth.
Find a Los Angeles Tooth Extraction Dentist Near Me
If you or your child has an infected or a badly decayed tooth and want the best tooth extraction services in Lomita, Torrance, Los Angeles, or Carson, Washington Dental is the place for you. We have some of the best equipment to make tooth extraction procedures as comfortable as possible for you. Visit any of our offices today for all dental services.