If one of your 2019 resolutions is to improve your health, then you won’t want to forget about your oral health. Your oral health is a window to your overall health and taking care of any dental issues you are dealing with should be a top priority this upcoming year.
If you have been experiencing severe pain at the site of any of your teeth, it could be the signs of an infection or other serious condition. Depending on your specific situation, you may need to get a tooth extracted. While dealing with a serious oral health care issue can dampen your holiday spirit a bit, the McAllen family dentists at WhiteWing Dental can help to get your smile back on track so that you can have an amazing 2019.
If you are in need of a tooth extraction, please consider the following information.
Why You (or Your Child) Might Need a Tooth Extracted
While your permanent teeth are intended to last a lifetime, they may have suffered from sort of trauma, decay, or other oral health issues that have made it necessary to extract a tooth. Some of the most common reasons why teeth are extracted include:
- To Prepare for Braces – For both children and adults, preparing for orthodontic care may require that a dentist pull out teeth. If your mouth is crowded then your dentist may suggest an extraction to make space and to help with the alignment process.
- A Tooth Cannot Erupt – If your child has a tooth that has not been able to erupt because of a crowded mouth, then a tooth extraction may be necessary.
- Infection in the Pulp – If tooth decay has caused extensive damage to a tooth (or teeth), and an infection has begun to infect the pulp, or center of the tooth, then a tooth extraction may be required.
- Severe Gum Disease – Gum disease affects the bones and tissues that support the teeth. In severe cases, gum disease may cause teeth to become loose, in which case, it may be necessary to have one or more pulled.
What a Tooth Extraction Consist Of
Prior to the extraction, your dentist will take a look at your dental and medical history to ensure you are in good enough health to undergo the removal. You’ll want to let him about any medications you are taking at the time, as well as any allergies you may have.
The dentist will likely take an x-ray of your affected teeth to decide the best way to remove the tooth or teeth.
Following these initial steps, your dentist, with the assistance of an oral surgeon, will use a local anesthetic to numb the area surrounding the tooth that will be extracted. If need be, WhiteWing Dental offers sedation dentistry services. This means we can provide you a strong enough anesthetic to put you (or child) to sleep so you can have a comfortable procedure and experience.
Once the area around the tooth has been numbed, your dentist will use forceps to grab the tooth. Using a gentle back and forth motion to loosen the tooth, the dentist will remove the damaged tooth. If the tooth has not erupted pass the gums, the dentist will cut away at any tissue covering the tooth.
If necessary, the tooth may be broken into smaller pieces in order to be successfully removed.
Once the tooth has been removed, your dentist may use self-dissolving stitches to help close the wound of the extraction site. You’ll also be provided with gauze to help stop the bleeding and to help form a blood clot.
Taking Care of the Extraction Site at Home
Taking care of your tooth at home is absolutely essential as failing to do so can lead to an infection and pain.
To help with the recovery process at home, you will want to:
- Use painkillers as prescribed by your dentist.
- Make sure to use the gauze provided to you. Bite down on the gauze to reduce the bleeding and help a blood clot to form. Change out the gauze as necessary.
- You can use an ice pack to help with swelling.
- Avoid rinsing, spitting, or using a straw for 24 hours in order to avoid dislodging the blood clot.
- Do not smoke during the healing process.
- Eat soft foods for the first day or two after the extraction.
- Keep your head propped up when lying down. Do not lay flat.
- When brushing and flossing, avoid the extraction site.
Contact your dentist immediately if:
- You continue to have heavy bleeding more than 4 hours after the tooth has been pulled.
- You have a fever.
- You are vomiting or nauseous.
Bridges or dental implants are usually recommended to replace missing teeth.