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There are many forms of dental treatment which can be used to save a tooth, including root canal therapy, crowns and fillings. However, there are still some situations where it is necessary to extract one or more teeth to achieve better oral health and comfort for the patient.
Dr. Smilovits will explain the procedure to you prior to starting treatment and do everything possible to minimize the pain and the recovery time from the extraction. When extractions are done properly, they can be done gently and without pain.
Why would a tooth need to be extracted?
Most often an extraction is done to solve a simple problem: the patient is in pain.
That doesn’t mean extraction is the best method to handle a toothache. In fact, it is more of a last resort than a perfect solution. However, there are certain specific instances when it is optimum to remove the tooth rather than attempt another course of treatment:
- Wisdom teeth – When a person enters their later teenage years, additional teeth start to grow in at the back of their mouths, one on each side of the upper and lower jaw. In most cases, the jaw bone is not large enough to accommodate these additional teeth. Thus, when they do start to come in they often need to be removed. This is definitely not every case – some people retain their wisdom teeth all their lives. However, if the wisdom teeth begin to provide discomfort, the simplest handling is to remove them.
- Impacted Teeth – An impacted tooth is one which remains fully or partially below the surface of the gums as it grows in. Such teeth can become infected and push against other teeth, creating inflammation or infections. Impacted teeth are removed for the overall health of the patient and to relieve the pain from the swelling and inflammation.
- Crowded Teeth – There are times where teeth are too tightly crowded in a person’s mouth, and removing a tooth may simply make it easier to straighten or align the teeth. This would be done in combination with orthodontic treatment.
- Health Concerns – We may also recommend a tooth be extracted simply for health purposes. If a tooth has severely decayed and becomes infected, it may be in the patient’s best interest to remove it entirely and have it replaced with a dental implant or a bridge.
Is a tooth extraction painful?
Dr. Smilovits takes every precaution to make tooth extractions painless. Thanks to modern anesthetics, you should not feel pain during the procedure itself.
In many cases, a patient who has tooth pulled experiences little or no discomfort, and only minor bleeding. After the extraction itself, you will have gauze placed in your mouth for several hours while the bleeding stops. Your jaw may be sore over the next 24 hours, and sometimes antibiotics are recommended to aid recovery and prevent infection.
How long does it take to recover after a tooth extraction?
Dr. Smilovites recommends that you rest for 12 to 24 hours after a tooth extraction. The body is still recovering from the procedure while the anesthetic wears off.
You will be able to remove the gauze from your mouth a few hours after the tooth extraction is complete, but certain activities including smoking, vigorous brushing and rinsing, and drinking liquids through straws are discouraged for the next 48 hours because they hinder healing and may cause the wound to open.
If any swelling occurs, a cold compress can be applied to the outside cheek near the extraction area.
How do I know if I have an impacted tooth?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have an impacted wisdom tooth:
- Facial swelling
- Gum swelling
Call 216.464.9696 to schedule an examination with Dr. Smilovites and discuss your options. Or click here to schedule online.