Tooth extractions are performed at Artistic Touch Dentistry only if necessary. Pulling teeth unnecessarily can lead to avoidable bone loss. Dr. Brazdo always wants to ensure her patients are receiving the most excellent and beneficial long-term care and will carefully evaluate every tooth before an extraction.
Bone loss occurs because your jawbone requires regular stimulation in order to maintain density. The stimulation comes from bite force that is transferred from your teeth to the bone of your jaw as you chew. However, once a tooth is extracted, no bite force is available for stimulation at the site of the extraction. Eventually, the jawbone atrophies in this area, and bone loss results.
Reasons for an Extraction
There are a number of reasons why you and Dr. Brazdo may determine that you need a tooth extraction. Here are a few of them:
Decay can become so severe that it is impossible to salvage a tooth. In instances in which a filling or root canal cannot be performed, a dental extraction may be recommended.
Bone loss from advanced periodontal disease:
A tooth may become so unstable in its socket that it requires extraction. This can result from loss of bone density and soft tissue support that is caused by periodontal disease.
If a tooth cracks into multiple parts through its roots, the tooth cannot be repaired. As a result, to avoid infection, an extraction is needed to ensure that all components of the broken tooth are properly removed.
Other teeth may need to be removed because they are poorly positioned or impacted in the mouth. This is often the case for wisdom teeth. A wisdom tooth can cause great discomfort because it is in growing in a lateral configuration. However, the tooth may not have breached the surface of your gums.
Crowding and poor positioning:
Teeth may also need to be extracted to allow more room for an orthodontic adjustment when there is too little room in your mouth to accommodate the number of teeth present. The extraction may be required before an orthodontic appliance, such as braces, is installed.
Preparation for dentures:
In some instances, when full dentures are prescribed, remaining teeth may need to be removed.
Primary teeth that fail to release:
If a primary tooth fails to release from the mouth after a prolonged period, an extraction may be performed. This condition is quite rare. Most baby teeth eventually shed on their own.
Problems Associated With a Lost Tooth
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. This is why a tooth extraction is not taken lightly at this Melbourne, Florida dental practice.
To avoid future complications, in most cases, Dr. Brazdo will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth. In cases in which an extraction cannot be avoided, Dr. Brazdo may suggest replacing the tooth using a fixed dental bridge or a dental implant. A dental implant may be the preferred option because the restoration replaces both the root and crown of the missing tooth. Most other replacement options only replace the dental crown.
Replacement of the dental root can help you avoid jawbone atrophy that results in bone loss. The implant still provides needed stimulation to the bone for the regular production of new bone cells.
The Extraction Process
At the time of extraction, using a local anesthetic, the dentist will numb your tooth, along with your jawbone and the gums that surround the area.
As the tooth is pulled from its socket, you will feel a lot of pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth back and forth in order to widen the socket and ease the tooth's removal.
Still, you feel the pressure without pain. The anesthetic numbs the nerves that allow the transference of pain. Yet, the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected.
If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction, let your dentist know right away. She can adjust the pain medication to better numb the area.
Surgical Vs. Simple Extractions
Simple extractions are performed when the crown of a tooth is easily visible above the gum line and the tooth is not broken into multiple components. The dentist can simply loosen the tooth and then remove it with forceps. No further actions are needed during the removal process.
A surgical extraction can be a bit more complicated. If a tooth has broken off at or below the gum line or has failed to erupt, a surgical extraction may be needed. The dentist must cut your gums to surgically remove the tooth or any fragments of tooth material that may be remaining. The cost of a surgical extraction is a bit higher than that of a simple extraction because of the complexity of the procedure.
After-extraction Home Care
Here are a few care tips to prevent problems after your extraction:
Some bleeding may occur after your extraction. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 45 minutes can help control this.
The blood clots that form in the empty socket are the first sign of healing. Be very careful not to dislodge the clot by following these guidelines:
- Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction.
- Avoid use of a straw
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid hot liquids
If swelling occurs, place a cold compress on your face for 10 minutes and off for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours.
Pain and Medications
If you experience pain you may use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
For most extractions, just make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for a day. A liquid diet may be recommended for the first 24 hours following your procedure.
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 occurs when a blood clot fails to form or has been dislodged from the socket where the tooth has been. This is a painful occurrence and significantly delays healing.
Following the post extraction instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain, which doesn’t appear until three or 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.
Dr. Brazdo will apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to soothe the pain.
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.
If you believe that you may benefit by having a tooth extracted, talk with your Melbourne, Florida dentist about your options.