Every now and then, a tooth can become impacted. This means that there is not enough room in your mouth for the tooth to fully emerge. This is quite often the case with your wisdom teeth — your third molars usually appearing in your late teens or early 20’s. Leaving teeth impacted puts you at risk for a variety of serious dental issues. If one or more of your teeth are impacted, schedule a consultation for a dental extraction today. The expert team of surgeons will offer you the best advice as to whether a dental extraction is necessary.
What is the tooth extraction process like?
Teeth extraction is a common procedure. Depending on the health of the tooth and whether it is visible determines whether the procedure is simple or surgical.
SIMPLE TOOTH EXTRACTION
A simple tooth extraction means that your tooth is already showing. This means your Bay Area OSM doctor needs only a couple of tools, called an elevator and forceps, to extract it. The elevator loosens your tooth while the forceps grip the tooth and gently extract it from its socket. The procedure is painless as you will be given a local anesthetic before it begins to numb the entire area. A simple tooth extraction can be completed in a matter of minutes.
SURGICAL TOOTH EXTRACTION
Your level of sedation will depend on the length and complexity of the procedure. Simpler surgical procedures may only require light sedation, whereas impacted wisdom teeth extraction might include general anesthesia.
For surgical tooth extractions, it is necessary to cut into the gums and possibly remove small portions of bone.
Why might I need a tooth extraction?
Impacted teeth, like the wisdom teeth, are a common reason you might need a tooth extraction, but there are plenty of other reasons as well. Others include:
- Pericoronitis (inflammation of the gum tissue)
- Broken teeth
- Infected teeth
- Immune disorders
Broken teeth, teeth that are impacted, or teeth below the surface of the gums are more intensive procedures and are often performed by the team at Bay Area OSM.
What is recovery from a tooth extraction like?
Every surgical patient heals differently, it also depends on the type of procedure you had. Recovery from a simple tooth extraction usually only takes a day or two for any pain to go away and to return to your favorite foods. Surgical extraction can sometimes take a bit longer, roughly 5-7 days. However, there are ways to speed up the process and keep you as comfortable as possible. These include:
- Using an ice pack 10 minutes at a time
- Don’t use straws for beverages
- Do not smoke
- If there is bleeding bite down on gauze as instructed by your surgeon
- Take medicine as prescribed by your provider
Frequently Asked Questions
DOES A TOOTH EXTRACTION HURT?
With the help of medication, your tooth extraction surgery should be relatively pain-free. A local anesthetic will be used at the extraction site to block the pain. You will also have the choice of using a sedative. Sedatives can help you feel very relaxed throughout the surgery. Before your procedure, the surgeons at Bay Area OSM will arrange a consultation to determine the best medication for you. After the surgery, over-the-counter medication will be strong enough to block any pain until you have healed.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER THE TOOTH EXTRACTION?
You may return home after your tooth extraction procedure. Arrange for someone to drive you home, as the sedatives can keep you feeling drowsy until the next day. It’s a good idea to rest for a couple of days to recover, after which you can gradually return to normal activity. Your gums will be susceptible to bleeding for a few days. To prevent this, you will need to preserve the integrity of the blood clot. You can do so by avoiding crispy foods and vigorous rinsing in the mouth. Instead, try to eat soft foods for the first week before returning to your normal diet.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M RECOVERING WELL AFTER MY TOOTH EXTRACTION?
Your recovery after a tooth extraction will take up to a week. You will likely see some residual bleeding and swelling for a couple of days. This is something normal and to be expected. However, there are some things you should be aware of. If you notice any of the symptoms below, call the surgery office at Bay Area OSM immediately for further advice.
- Heavy bleeding or extreme pain after 4 hours since the extraction
- Indications of infection including chills
- Nausea or vomiting
- An excessive amount of discharge
- Coughing, shortness of breath, or chest pain.