Tooth extractions are only performed in cases where removing the tooth will benefit your long-term oral health. Patients with severely decayed or damaged teeth may benefit from a tooth extraction. A patient who requires a tooth extraction may choose to replace their missing tooth with a dental implant depending on the location of the tooth.
Our team always aims to provide the most conservative treatment option to restore health to the teeth and gums. Whenever possible tooth decay will be treated with a dental filling or using dental inlays and onlays. Fillings, inlays and onlays preserve the natural structure of the tooth for a more stable oral foundation.
Tooth extraction is a routine dental procedure that is typically performed in one visit. Patients are made comfortable and may choose to receive a local anesthetic.
The tooth set for removal will be loosened from the gums at the root. The tooth will gently be rocked back and forth until it can be removed. Once the tooth is removed the empty root socket will be sutured shut to prevent potential infection. Patients typically recover smoothly and without incident in one to two days.
Tooth Extraction FAQs
How long does it take to recover from a tooth extraction?
It may take a few days for you to recover. Your mouth heals quickly, so there is no worry of being unable to speak or eat for a long time. First, you will be required to stick to soft foods for the first 24-48 hours. This will prevent the socket from opening up and getting infected. After that, you should avoid anything that causes a sucking motion for a couple of days (avoid using straws and sucking on things like cigarettes and candy).
What is dry socket and is it dangerous?
Dry socket happens when the natural blood clot that has formed in the pocket of where the tooth used to be has fallen out. The natural blood clot is helping the socket heal quickly from tooth extraction. Without it, the socket is exposed to air, food, saliva, and bacteria. When food, saliva, and bacteria become lodged in the clot’s place, it causes pain and discomfort.
How soon can I get a tooth replaced after an extraction?
If you are planning to replace your tooth after a tooth extraction, you will typically need to wait a minimum of 10 weeks. This waiting period allows your mouth to fully heal before any restoration can be placed. Patients typically replace their teeth after extraction with dental implants or dental bridges.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
You will experience some discomfort after the extraction. The dentist will provide you with aftercare instructions, and may prescribe pain medication to minimize and manage your discomfort. Your rate of recovery depends on how well you follow post-op instructions.
- Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction to avoid dry socket
- After 24 hours, rinse your mouth with salt and warm water solution
- Change gauze pads before they become soaked with blood
- Do not drink from a straw for 24 hours
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco
- Only eat soft foods for the first 48 hours after the extraction
- Apply ice to the affected area to help keep down the swelling.
- Brush and floss your teeth but be sure to avoid the extraction area
If you notice excessive pain, swelling, or bleeding, contact our Owings Mills dentist office immediately. Our team will provide patients with thorough post-surgery instructions.
3 Reasons For Tooth Extractions
When necessary, we may perform an extraction, which involves carefully and gently removing a tooth. While most of our treatments are designed to save teeth, in some cases improving your oral health means removing them. What are our most common reasons for extracting a tooth?
Common Reasons for Dental Extraction
- Preventing Wisdom Tooth Impaction: Our wisdom teeth are additional molars that erupt in our late teens or early 20s. In some cases, they arrive without issue. However, in many cases they can become impacted, only partially erupting and damaging your teeth. Issues related to impaction include infection, abscesses, and cracked or broken teeth. However, using extraction we can remove these additional molars before they even erupt.
- Addressing Severe Tooth Infection: When a patient comes to us with an infection, we can often save the tooth with a simple root canal procedure. However, if the infection is too severe then we may need to remove the tooth. Otherwise, the infection can spread to surrounding teeth and into the jawbone. After removal, we can discuss possible replacement options, such as a dental implant.
- Severely Damaged Teeth: If a tooth is broken, but so damaged that a crown can’t restore it, we may use extraction to remove it. This prevents the exposed tooth from developing severe decay or an infection. As with all extractions, we will administer a local anesthetic prior to removal to help the patient remain calm and relaxed. For anxious patients, we can also discuss sedation.
If you have any questions about our approach to tooth removal or our tooth replacement options, please contact our office today: 410-782-3021 or request an appointment online today.