Teeth may need to be extracted because of severe decay, advanced periodontal disease, or a broken tooth that cannot be repaired. Teeth extractions are also beneficial for poorly positioned teeth (such as impacted teeth), or to prepare for orthodontic treatment.
Even one missing tooth can lead to issues with chewing ability, your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your overall dental health. To avoid these complications, in most cases the dentist will discuss replacement of the extracted tooth.
What is the Tooth Extraction Process?
At the time of extraction, the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone, and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic. During the extraction process you shouldn’t feel pain, only some pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal.
Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure, which is necessary when a tooth is firmly anchored in its socket, or the root is curved. This means the socket can’t expand enough to remove the tooth. In this case, the dentist simply cuts the tooth into sections, then removes each section one at a time.
What Happens After a Tooth Extraction?
After the tooth is extracted, you may feel pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. It usually subsides after 48 hours, but you can take pain medications as prescribed.
If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.