You and Dr. Schneider may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed. Others may have advanced periodontal disease or are broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth) or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.
To avoid these complications, Dr. Schneider will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth. If it is decided that tooth extraction is inevitable, be assured that Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon’s unparalleled expertise will minimize trauma, bone loss, and protect soft tissue during the procedure.
The Extraction Process
The majority of patients prefer to be asleep during surgery. With I.V. anesthesia you are completely asleep, and will wake up when the procedure is through. This provides you with a comfortable, stress free experience. For some patients, local anesthesia is all they request. Regardless, at the time of extraction the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone, and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic.
If awake during the extraction process, you will feel a lot of pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal. With I.V. anesthesia you will not experience this pressure as you will be asleep.
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 cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.
After Care Bleeding
Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 30 minutes can control this.
Blood Clots That Form In The Empty Socket
This is an important part of the healing process and you must be careful not to dislodge the clot.
Pain & Medications
If you are prescribed pain medicine and still experience discomfort, you may be instructed to use non-prescription pain relief medications such as ibuprofen.
For most extractions, make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A soft food diet is recommended for 72 hours.
Brushing & Cleaning
After the extraction, avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site. After a couple of days you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the extraction site.
Beginning 24 hours after the extraction, you can rinse lightly with salt water (one teaspoon salt in a cup of warm water) after meals and before bed.
Dry socket is when a blood clot becomes loose in the socket where the tooth has been extracted, and the clot has been dissolved. This results in delayed healing, and is very uncomfortable. At Acadiana Oral & Facial Surgery very few dry sockets occur. Acadiana Oral & Facial Surgery is proud to say we have not seen a dry socket in over 3 years! However, if you begin to experience increasing discomfort on post-operative days 3 or 4, call the office for instructions.
Following the postoperative instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain that usually doesn't appear until three to four 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.
If needed, Dr. Schneider will apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket which reduces the discomfort, usually within 15-20 minutes.
After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. However after 1- 2 weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience.