Ouch! I think I need my tooth pulled. Now what?
Tooth pain can be excruciating. Whether it’s a fierce throbbing sensation or an unrelenting ache, it can impact your ability to fully concentrate, get a good night’s sleep, and chew foods properly. In some cases, extraction may be necessary, especially when one or more teeth are impacted, irreparably damaged, or are causing alignment issues. The experienced dentists at SEDA Dental of North Miami Beach, FL are able to expertly determine when an extraction is the best course of action. If you are experiencing tooth pain, it is important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to learn why it is occurring as well as what options are available to quickly and completely alleviate the discomfort.
Why teeth are extracted
There are many reasons why tooth extraction may be required for men and women in North Miami Beach. However, it usually is performed as a last resort once it is decided that there is no other way to save the tooth. Heavily decayed and damaged teeth may be pulled, especially when they have been chipped or broken to the point that they cannot be repaired. Once removed, it is possible to replace the missing tooth or teeth with a bridge or a dental implant, which restores proper form and function to the mouth.
When the teeth are overcrowded, it may be necessary to remove several teeth so that others can occupy the space. This often occurs as part of orthodontic treatments. Wisdom teeth also are frequently removed. These four teeth, which usually appear during one’s late teens and early 20s, grow behind the molars in the back of the mouth. However, if they come in crooked and impact other teeth, they can be a source of pain and swelling and should be removed.
Types of extractions
After looking over your dental and medical history and inquiring about the medications you take as well as any allergies you may have, the dentists at SEDA Dental of North Miami Beach will examine the area of your mouth that is experiencing pain. X-rays will be taken to help determine whether a tooth needs to be removed. Before an extraction begins, anesthesia is used to numb the area around the tooth. Depending on the procedure that is required, as well as a patient’s level of anxiety, other types of sedation may be employed to help keep them feeling relaxed and comfortable.
Two types of extractions commonly are performed. Usually, most teeth that are visible above the gumline can be removed with a simple extraction. The tooth is loosened with a tool called an elevator and then removed with dental forceps. Gauze may be placed into the empty socket, which you will bite down on to help slow the bleeding. Less frequently, stitches may be used to close the gums. Following a simple extraction, patients are free to leave the dental office soon after the procedure is complete, and their bleeding has ceased.
Surgical extractions are performed under general anesthesia when a tooth is less accessible in the mouth. This is often the case with wisdom teeth, which may not have broken through the surface of the gums. To access the teeth, incisions are made in the gums. Depending on the size of the tooth, it may be broken into smaller pieces to ease in its removal, after which the gums will be sutured closed. It may be necessary to take prescribed antibiotics before and after a surgical extraction in order to prevent an infection from developing.
Although you may experience mild to moderate amounts of pressure, due to the anesthesia that is used, patients should not experience any pain during the extraction. You also may hear some loud noises as the teeth are removed. When a single tooth is removed via a simple extraction, the process usually can be completed in less than an hour. The duration of the procedure may increase when multiple teeth are pulled.
Recovering from an extraction
It is normal to experience some pain and soreness for up to a week after a tooth is removed. The dentists at SEDA Dental of North Miami Beach may prescribe pain medication to relieve the discomfort and other symptoms. Patients should avoid chewing hard foods on or near the site of the extraction. This will help prevent food particles from getting into the area where the tooth was removed. It may be best to consume only soft, easy-to-eat foods for several days after the procedure. Hot and spicy foods, as well as alcohol, should be avoided as these can irritate the area and interact with pain medications. You may resume eating your regular diet when you feel comfortable doing so.
To help prevent infection from forming in the area where the tooth was pulled, be sure to gently rinse your mouth 2-3 times daily with a mild saltwater solution. You should be able to brush and floss again the day after the procedure, taking extra care to avoid damaging the extraction site. It is important to contact the dentist as soon as possible if you notice any excessive bleeding or experience stomach pain during your recovery. As the gums heal, blood clots will form and should not be removed. If they fall out, the bone beneath may become exposed, causing what is called a dry socket. Severe pain and possibly infection may result. If you suspect this has occurred, call the dentist immediately so that proper treatment can begin.
It is normal to feel nervous about having a tooth extracted, especially if it is your first time to undergo this procedure. The dentists at SEDA Dental of North Miami Beach, FL are highly knowledgeable about the latest techniques and strive to make patients feel as comfortable as possible. There is no need to live with debilitating tooth pain. Contact our office and schedule an appointment so that you can feel your best once again.
* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.