Although our dentists aim to preserve natural teeth whenever possible, sometimes a tooth extraction is necessary. Natural teeth are saved whenever possible because they are really the strongest option. However, when a tooth is beyond the possibility of repair, your oral health will suffer by trying to keep the infected tooth. It is these situations in which tooth removal may be the right way to restore your dental health and the appearance of your smile. To schedule a consultation to learn more, call or text our Palm Aire location at 941-351-4468.
Reasons You May Need Tooth Extraction
Our dentists may recommend tooth extraction in the following situations:
- Advanced tooth decay
- Advanced gum disease
- Advanced damage that is not salvageable with restoration
- Tooth trauma/injury
- Crowded teeth
- Lack of room in the jaw for all teeth
- Impacted teeth
- Baby teeth that do not naturally fall out
We believe firmly in discussing all of your options. You deserve to know all the courses of action for the given dental problem. Rest assured, if removing the tooth is the best approach for your health, we want to reassure you that the procedure is gentle, safe and effective. The surgical extraction of teeth may sound a bit daunting, but with today’s modern dentistry with advanced technology and anesthesia, you can put your nerves at ease. We also offer nitrous oxide and oral sedation to help patients feel more relaxed and comfortable for dental procedures.
The Teeth Extraction Process
The extraction process is straightforward and custom-planned by your dentist. Depending on the procedure and your preferences, you may need only a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. We will discuss all of the anesthesia options during your consultation. Whether or not you choose a sedation option, we will make sure you have all the information you need ahead of time including the aftercare instructions.
Local, sedation, or general anesthesia is administered. Depending on the type of extraction, an incision may be made in the gum tissue and bone that blocks access to the tooth root may be removed. Once the tooth is removed and the site of the tooth is cleaned, a blood clot naturally forms over the tooth site. Oftentimes, the wound is stitched close to promote healing. We will provide you with instructions related to eating and brushing after extraction. We will send you home with proper items to help post-op care such as an ice pack and/or gauze. It is important not to disrupt the blood clot while the site heals.
Applying ice to the cheek above the treatment area will keep swelling and discomfort down in the days following the extraction. You can also take pain medications as instructed by the dentist, if you are experiencing discomfort. We recommend relaxing and limiting your activity for at least a couple of days, and eating soft foods.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate for a Tooth Extraction?
A tooth extraction is necessary when a tooth has become too badly damaged or decayed to repair with bonding, a crown, or another restoration. Extraction may also be needed when teeth are too crowded for orthodontic treatment.
Wisdom teeth are frequently removed to help prevent pain, infection, and spacing issues. As with all other teeth, extraction is typically reserved for cases where it’s needed. We can discuss this with you, based on your particular needs, during your routine visits to our office.
How Many Teeth Can I Have Extracted?
At The Smile Centre, we take every step possible to save natural teeth. When this is impossible, extraction becomes necessary.
There is no limit on how many teeth can be extracted, either during the same appointment or over the course of your life. It is not common to need multiple teeth extracted, but this is something we can accommodate.
If extraction is the best solution for your smile, we will provide you with information on restorations, such as implants and bridges, to make sure your smile stays strong and attractive following your extraction.
How Long Does a Tooth Extraction Take?
The process of extracting a single tooth may be completed within 45 minutes to an hour. Multiple teeth will take more time. We will give you an estimate of the time that will be needed for your procedure to help you plan accordingly.
How Soon Can I Go Back to Work After a Tooth Extraction?
Tooth extraction is not a major procedure, but it does require a few days of rest. Most people feel comfortable returning to work after 24 to 48 hours, though it will be longer – perhaps one to two weeks – before everything feels “normal.”
Adjusting to your new bite, with or without restorations, takes time and it is important that you take steps to avoid irritating or damaging the treatment area during the healing process. We will provide you with instructions on aftercare as well as a timeline that includes when it will be safe to resume all normal activities.
How Can I Manage My Pain After a Tooth Extraction?
Pain management following tooth extraction may include:
- OTC medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen
- Cold and warm compresses
- Keeping the head elevated
- Using a saline rinse
Eating soft foods for a few days following tooth extraction may be necessary, along with certain other steps that can help to ensure comfort. We will work directly with you and answer all of your questions to help you have the most rewarding and painless experience possible.
What Type of Anesthetics are Used During Tooth Extraction?
A local anesthetic is used during tooth extraction to help ensure optimal patient comfort. A simple, in-office procedure, tooth extraction can often be completed with a local anesthetic alone. However, at The Smile Centre, we recognize that not all patients have the same needs. Therefore, we are pleased to offer a range of safe and effective sedation options, including full IV Sedation, which can address anxiety and promote greater comfort during your procedure.
What Happens if I Don't Remove a Damaged Tooth?
Failure to remove a damaged tooth will increase the risks of tooth infection and gum disease. In extreme cases, an infection can extend to the bone, resulting in necrosis and additional tooth loss. Damaged teeth can also alter the bite, increasing risks for uneven tooth wear, damage to surrounding teeth, and increased chances for TMJ.
How Long Does It Take for the Jaw and Gum to Heal After Tooth Removal?
Most tooth extractions, including those of larger teeth such as molars, will heal within 30 days. For smaller teeth, it may only take two to three weeks for the gums to heal completely. Much of this depends on your natural healing response and how closely you follow our office's pre and post-extraction directions.
How Soon After Tooth Removal Can I Get a Dental Implant?
Dental implants can be placed once the gums and jaw have healed completely. While the initial healing process may only take two to four weeks, you may need to wait up to three months for implant placement. This is not a hard-and-fast rule. We can place dental implants as soon as your jaw is ready.
It will take slightly longer to complete the process if bone grafting is necessary to support your dental implant. We will provide you with a timeline based on factors specific to you during your time in our care.
What Should I Avoid After My Tooth Extraction Procedure?
Following tooth extraction, you will want to avoid smoking, vaping, and drinking through a straw. You will also want to avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods, including some meats.
Acidic and spicy foods can cause discomfort and should be avoided following tooth extraction as well.
What Is a Dry Socket?
Dry socket occurs when a blood clot fails to develop or dislodges before the incision can heal. Sucking, such as is necessary when smoking or using a straw, will increase your risks for this issue.
Dry sockets expose underlying tissue and bone, which can lead to severe pain and inflammation. Infection is rare with dry sockets, but a delayed healing response is expected. A delayed healing response will lengthen the time between extraction and implant placement.
During the planning phase of your procedure, we will provide instructions on proper home care to help reduce your risk of dry socket and improve your recovery experience.
What are my Options for Restoring a Removed Tooth?
You may want to replace the extracted tooth, especially if its location was at the front of your smile or if it was one of the molars you use to chew. The three common options are:
- Dental implant: A dental implant is a small titanium post. It is very durable. Implants are surgically embedded in the bone beneath your gums, making them a very strong and stable option. The dental implant can hold a tooth crown, an attachable denture, or a dental bridge.
- Dentures: Modern dentures are more durable and attractive than ever before. Dentures are used when multiple teeth are missing, or to replace all of your teeth, so oftentimes they are not an option for someone who had one tooth removed.
- Dental bridge: A dental bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap. It sits in the position of the extracted tooth – that is supported on either side by your natural teeth. The crowns and artificial tooth are one piece, forming a bridge over the tooth gap. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.
The experienced team of dentists at The Smile Centre want to help you enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile. We will provide you with clear information about replacing the removed tooth, including cost, longevity, durability, and aesthetics.
Arrange Your Consultation
If you are wondering if you need tooth extraction, please call the experienced dentists at The Smile Centre to schedule a consultation, in Sarasota. Contact our Palm Aire location at 941-351-4468. We look forward to helping you reclaim your oral health and your smile!