Tooth Extractions Tempe AZ
You and Dr. Fletcher may determine that you need a tooth removed for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease, or some may have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted wisdom teeth), or as part of orthodontic treatment.
The loss of a single tooth may lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, or can allow teeth to shift, which can have a major impact on your overall dental health.
To avoid these problems that tooth loss can cause, Dr. Fletcher will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.
The Extraction Process
At the time of extraction the doctor will need to numb your tooth and surrounding tissues with a local anesthetic.
During the extraction process you can feel the pressure of removing the tooth but without pain. You feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain, yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected.
If you do feel pain at any time during the procedure please let us know right away so we can make you more comfortable.
Sectioning a tooth
Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.
After Extraction Home Care
It is normal to have some bleeding following the removal of a tooth. At the end of the procedure we have you bite on a piece of gauze over the empty tooth socket firmly for 45-60 minutes to control the bleeding.
The formation of a blood clot where the tooth was is an important part of the healing process and you must be careful not to dislodge the clot.
- Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction.
- Avoid use of a straw, smoking or hot liquids.
To minimize post-surgical swelling we recommend you place ice on the face over the extraction site. Apply it for 10 minutes and then off for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle as often as you can for up to 24 hours.
Pain and Medications
If you experience pain you may use over the counter pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If Dr. Fletcher prescribes pain medication or antibiotics please take them as prescribed. If you ever have a rash or bad reactions to any medication please stop taking it and contact us as soon as possible. Remember it is illegal to share prescription medications with other people.
For most extractions just make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A liquid diet may be recommended for 24 hours.
Brushing and Cleaning
After the extraction avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. After that you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the site. Beginning 24 hours after the extraction you can rinse with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed.
Dry socket is a rare complication that occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged, and the healing is significantly delayed. Carefully following our post-surgery instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket.
Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain, which doesn’t appear until four to five days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry. Please call our office if you have any questions about the healing of your mouth.
Long Term Healing
After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in the bone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months although the gums should cover the hole in only a week or two.