Tooth Extraction Specialist in Greensboro
Tooth Extractions in Greensboro NC
A tooth extraction may be necessary for several reasons:
- A badly decayed tooth
- Cracked tooth
- Split tooth
- An infected tooth
Tooth Extraction Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Tooth Extraction?
A tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket. Teeth are attached to the jawbone via roots that extend into the tooth socket. Extraction involves the removal of both the crown of the tooth and its roots.
Why Do I Need a Tooth Pulled?
There a number of reasons a tooth may require removal. Most often, extraction is necessary due to tooth breakage, infection, or decay. Many times, there is not enough room in the mouth to accommodate some teeth, necessitating their removal. If your dentist determines that one or more of your teeth cannot break through the gum line, he or she may recommend pulling it. This is typically done prior to orthodontic treatment so that there is sufficient room in the mouth to properly align the teeth.
In cases of a compromised immune system, some teeth may be pulled if they demonstrate a risk for infection. This commonly happens in individuals undergoing chemotherapy or receiving organ transplants.
Who Performs a Tooth Extraction?
A tooth extraction is performed by either a dentist or oral surgeon. Depending on the situation, an oral surgeon may be required to perform a more involved procedure to extract the tooth. This typically happens when the tooth is impacted (beneath the gum line), or the tooth is too delicate to pull without surgery.
If the tooth is beneath the gum line, the dentist or surgeon will make incisions in the gum line to remove the gum and bone tissue surrounding it. Forceps are then used to remove the tooth from the socket. Occasionally, difficult to remove teeth must be split into pieces to be fully extracted. In such cases, the tooth will be cut into sections and then removed to avoid the possibility of root breakage.
How Should I Prepare for an Extraction?
Generally, having a tooth pulled does not require extensive preparation. However, for individuals who have certain conditions, precautions must be taken. Let your dentist know if any of the following apply to you:
- Artificial joint
- Liver disease
- Congenital heart defect
- Artificial or damaged heart valve
- Bacterial endocarditis
- Impaired immune system
Prior to the procedure, certain individuals may be required to undergo a course of antibiotics to lessen the risk of infection development. Another course may be prescribed following the extraction.
Will I Be Sedated During Tooth Extraction?
The answer to this question will best be decided during a consultation with Dr. Farless or Dr. Locklear. Each patient’s desires and needs can be different and the main goal is to protect the patient at all times.
For a simple extraction, we will administer local anesthesia prior to tooth removal. Depending on the circumstances, anti-anxiety medication may also be offered to calm nervousness and/or nitrous oxide.
What Happens After the Extraction?
Your dentist will place a gauze pad over the empty tooth socket. Be sure to bite down firmly on the pad to reduce bleeding. Change the pad frequently before it becomes saturated. Eventually, a blood clot will form in the socket, but make sure to leave the pad in place for a couple of hours.
Immediately after the procedure, you may apply an icepack to the area to reduce swelling. Painkillers may also prescribed to reduce discomfort, so make sure to take them as prescribed. 24 hours after the extraction, gently rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution to reduce the risk of infection. Do not rinse the mouth for the first 24 hours to avoid dislodging the blood clot that has formed. Make sure to rest for the first 24 hours following the procedure; while lying down, be sure to prop your head up to decrease bleeding.
Avoid drinking from a straw following the procedure and if you smoke, avoid doing so until healing has completed.
Avoid hard or crunchy foods that require a great deal of chewing. These can easily become lodged in the extraction site, causing pain and increasing the risk for infection. Soft foods such as pudding, applesauce, mashed potatoes and soup are recommended.
How Do I Know It’s Healed?
The healing period typically lasts one to two weeks. If during that period, you experience a fever, chills, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath or excessive redness or swelling, contact your dentist. These may be signs of an infection which may need to be treated with antibiotics. It is, however, normal to experience pain, swelling and a small amount of bleeding for up to 24 hours following the extraction.