When a tooth is severely decayed or fractured and cannot be saved by fillings, root canal treatment or crowns, extracting it is the best option to prevent infection. Examination and x-rays are used to determine your best treatment options.
Before the procedure, anesthetic will be used to numb the area; nitrous oxide may be offered to help ease any anxiety. You will feel pressure, but you shouldn’t feel any pain. If you do feel pain during the procedure, we will stop and give you more anesthetic. You will be given post-operative instructions before you leave, explaining how to control bleeding, relieve pain, minimize swelling, and prevent dry socket.
Dry socket is inflammation that occurs when the blood clot that forms in the socket after an extraction becomes dislodged or formed improperly. This clot is necessary to protect the socket, stop bleeding and promote healthy bone and gums.
Dry Socket Symptoms:
- Severe throbbing pain not responding to over-the-counter pain relievers
- Pain radiating into the ear
- Foul odor/taste in mouth Call our office immediately if you notice symptoms of dry socket. Treatment includes numbing the area, cleaning out the socket and packing with a medicated gauze. Prompt diagnosis will allow the clot to reform and the area to heal normally.
Dry Socket Prevention:
- Do not touch extraction site with finger/tongue/toothbrush
- Wait to rinse area until 24 hours after the procedure
- Avoid smoking and tobacco use
- Do not spit forcefully after brushing your teeth
- Avoid using a straw
- Avoid sneezing/coughing if possible
- Avoid hot, carbonated or alcoholic drinks
Delaying treatment on a decayed tooth is risky because the problem will only become worse. If bone has been lost around the tooth, you will lose more bone. If the tooth is cracked and left untreated, the tooth may break and cause pain and infection. Decay will advance and possibly infect the nerve and jawbone, letting infection spread to other teeth and the rest of your body.
Extracting a Fractured Tooth
Fractured teeth can be sensitive to hot/cold and you may feel sharp pain when chewing. Many fractured teeth are successfully treated with root canal therapy and a crown, but if the fracture has extended into the root, extraction is the best choice for relieving pain and preventing infection.
Extracting Primary Teeth (baby teeth)
When primary teeth, also called baby teeth, don’t fall out like they should, extraction may be necessary so that permanent teeth can come in properly.
Replacing Extracted Teeth
It is often recommended to replace an extracted tooth to preserve the jawbone and stabilize your bite. There are a variety of options for tooth replacement. Some of these options include placing a bridge or dental implant, or using a removable prosthesis such as a partial denture or flipper. We would be happy to discuss these options with you.