Lake Forest, CA
If you've ever experienced a painful toothache, you know it can be hard to live with. This usually indicates a problem with your tooth, such as severe decay or infection. We'll always do what we can to save your tooth with restorative treatments when possible, but sometimes, removing the tooth is the best option for treatment.
Tooth removal, also referred to as tooth extraction, is the process of surgically removing a damaged tooth from it's socket. Here at Jeanette H. Thai, DDS, we'll make sure your extraction procedure goes smoothly and is as pain-free as possible.
Reasons for Adult Teeth Extractions
The most common reason for the extraction procedure is a severely damaged or decayed tooth that cannot be repaired by other means.
Teeth may also be pulled as a preparatory step for orthodontia. This is common with a crowded mouth when the teeth need to be properly aligned. It is sometimes not possible with large teeth so some of them may be removed to create more space.
Infection is also a frequent reason for extraction, especially if the damage reached the center of the tooth known as the pulp. Although this condition can also be solved with root canal therapy, serious cases require pulling to prevent the infection from spreading.
Some patients have a larger risk of infection, especially those who have a weak immune system. In these cases, we will recommend extraction of teeth that are prone to getting infected.
Before proceeding with teeth extraction, our professionals will give you a local anesthetic to ensure you feel no pain or discomfort during the procedure.
If you’re dealing with a severe case, a general anesthetic may also be recommended.
In some circumstances, it will be necessary to cut a small amount of tooth gum and bone tissue to allow the tooth to loosen and be pulled more easily.
Our dentist will use forceps to gently remove the tooth. Some teeth cannot be pulled as a whole, so it will have to be cut and extracted in pieces. When the tooth has been pulled, it usually causes a blood clot to form in its socket. If that happens, our dentist will place a gauze that you’ll need to bite down to stop the bleeding.
In some cases, you may also get stitches to close the gum. Dry socket happens in rare cases, and it is caused if the blood clot opens despite all the measures. Since this condition is painful, you may get a sedative that will prevent potential pain.
After the Procedure
When the procedure is done, you can expect a few days of recovery. There are many ways to prevent pain and infections, as well as to shorten the time required for recovery. If you have a gauze pad, make sure you don’t bite it too harshly, to allow the clot to form. Change your gauze after three or four hours. If the affected area begins swelling, cover it with an ice bag for ten minutes.
In the first 24 hours, you should relax as much as possible and avoid smoking, drinking from a straw and forceful rinsing. You can rinse your mouth with some salt and water the day after the procedure. As long as you feel discomfort, try to eat only soft food and avoid the affected area when you brush and floss your teeth.
All of these steps will make sure that your extraction goes as smooth as possible. To find out more and schedule an appointment call Jeanette Thai, DDS at (949) 837-8482.