Are your wisdom teeth causing pain? Do you have a severely decayed tooth? We provide tooth extraction procedures for infected and impacted teeth in our Lansdale, PA dental office. As a general dentistry solution, tooth extractions help prevent the spread of infection and damage to permanent teeth. Although many patients may be wary of dental extractions, we make the procedure as pain-free as possible. Our dental office uses local anesthesia and nitrous oxide so patients can feel relaxed during their treatments.
Do I Need a Tooth Extraction?
At our office, we practice conservative dentistry. We want to save your natural tooth root, if we can, to avoid the complications that come when you’re missing teeth. But sometimes, a tooth extraction is the best choice for your oral and overall health. We’ll do a thorough examination to determine if your tooth can be saved or if extraction is the right choice.
The most common extraction cause is severe tooth decay. Tooth decay starts by creating holes in the enamel layer of your tooth. If left untreated, it continues to burrow through the different layers of your teeth, reaching the dental pulp. Root canal procedures take care of the dental pulp, but only if the tooth is stable enough to withstand the procedure. When the tooth doesn’t have a stable structure, an extraction is needed.
Trauma can fracture a tooth in many different ways. We have multiple treatment options to try and treat them to salvage the tooth. Dental crowns and root canal therapy can usually stabilize a damaged tooth. With gum disease, both the gums and underlying bone can be so decayed that they can’t hold a tooth properly in place anymore. Poor bone density usually means that we can’t salvage the natural tooth.
Lastly, tooth extraction is needed when it comes to extra teeth or before some orthodontic treatment. Sometimes there are some baby teeth that don’t fall out. This doesn’t provide room for the adult teeth to grow in properly and make your mouth extremely cramped. Before braces, some teeth might have to be removed so that we can properly balance your bite with orthodontic treatment.
Simple and Complex Tooth Extractions
Dental extractions are often categorized as simple or complex. During a simple extraction, we remove teeth that are above the gum line. We gently rock the tooth back and forth to release it from the socket. Because this procedure is quick and simple, we will only need to use localized anesthesia. This numbs the mouth so that our patients do not feel pain.
Complex tooth extractions remove teeth that are below the gum line. For this procedure, we will use anesthesia and nitrous oxide because complex extractions typically have a longer treatment time. We may need to break the tooth into pieces in order to remove it fully. However, patients will not feel any pain during this procedure.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to emerge in the mouth. Also known as “third molars”, wisdom teeth erupt behind the back molars. Many patients need their wisdom teeth removed if they become impacted. Impacted teeth do not have enough room in the mouth to emerge, meaning that they can damage the molars and overcrowd teeth.
We take dental x-rays at routine appointments so that we can keep track of the emergence of wisdom teeth. For the extraction procedure, we will use sedation and anesthesia to remove the wisdom teeth and prevent further pain or tooth damage.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
It’s crucial to take proper care of the extraction site after a tooth extraction. You don’t want to get a dry socket or other complications as you’re trying to heal. We’ll give you specific aftercare instructions to take with you after your extraction procedure. Follow the instructions to ensure that you have a good experience while the site heals.
Keeping the area clean is especially important. Brush and floss your teeth as you would normally, but avoid directly brushing or flossing at the extraction site. Do gentle rinses with warm salt water or antimicrobial mouthwash to ensure that the site remains clean and clear of debris. You don’t want food particles or anything to settle at that site.
Depending on the type of extraction, we may prescribe you antibiotics or pain relievers. We may also recommend over-the-counter medications to manage your pain and discomfort. Take any prescribed medications exactly as we direct you to. Over-the-counter medications can be used at your discretion.
For the first few days, avoid any hard or crunchy foods. Stick to soft foods that don’t need to be chewed a lot. Try to avoid actual chewing in the area where your tooth was extracted. Avoid smoking and drinking through straws, as these are two of the biggest things that can contribute to dry socket. You don’t want to mess up the clotting process.
What is dry socket?
A dry socket is a condition that typically occurs after tooth extraction. Normally, a blood clot should form at the extraction site. However, if the blood clot dissolves, it can expose the nerves and bone beneath. Contact us immediately if you do not have a clot at the extraction site. Dry socket is a painful and uncomfortable condition that we can easily treat in our office.
Tooth Extraction FAQs
How long is tooth extraction treatment?
More simple tooth extractions can take 10 minutes to an hour. Removing wisdom teeth can take multiple hours because they may not have fully emerged. However, we can provide nitrous oxide if we are removing your wisdom teeth so the procedure will pass by quickly without any pain.
What is the most painful tooth to extract?
Wisdom teeth that have not fully emerged, meaning they are impacted, can be the most difficult and painful to remove. The wisdom teeth emerge behind the back molars. If wisdom teeth are impacted, removing them will take time and skill. However, because we use dental sedation when removing wisdom teeth, patients will not feel any pain during their tooth extraction treatment.
When can you eat after a tooth extraction?
An hour after your tooth extraction, you can begin to eat. For the first 24 hours after extraction, drink liquids and eat soft foods. Hard and crunchy foods can increase pain and swelling.
Can I drink water after a tooth extraction?
Yes, you can drink water after your tooth extraction. However, avoid drinking through a straw as that can dislodge the protective blood clots that cover your extraction sites. Also, avoid hot beverages that can irritate the soft tissues of your mouth.
Should I take off work after my tooth extraction?
Yes, it is recommended that you rest 72 hours following your tooth extraction, so you should take off work. Resting will ensure that your extraction sites heal properly.
Is hot or cold better after a tooth extraction?
At home after your tooth extraction, you can place an ice pack on your cheeks to help reduce swelling. Place the ice pack on your cheeks for 15 to 20 minutes with 10-minute breaks. After 24 hours, begin using heating pads to bring the swelling down.
Contact Our Office
Do you need to remove a problem tooth? Call 267-651-7247 or request a dental appointment with our team online. Please let us know if you have further questions at your next consultation, and we can help!