If it’s time to have a tooth extracted, you may be nervous about the idea as you wonder what to expect. Tooth extraction is a fairly routine procedure that can put you back on track for good dental health. Here are a few common reasons you might need to have a tooth extracted from your Colesville dentist, and what to expect on the day of the procedure.
What Is Tooth Extraction?
Tooth extraction is the surgical removal of a tooth from its socket. Common conditions that may require extraction include teeth that are:
Impacted: Teeth that are stuck inside the gums, such as wisdom teeth, may need to be removed to prevent complications.
Too badly damaged to be saved: When a filling or root canal isn't enough to restore a tooth to health, the tooth will need to be extracted to prevent infection.
Blocking or intruding on other teeth: Baby teeth may need to be extracted if they don't come out on their own by the time the adult tooth is trying to come in. Wisdom teeth are frequently extracted if they are trying to grow into spaces where adult teeth already exist.
How Does Tooth Extraction Work?
There are two main types of extractions:
Simple extractions are performed on teeth that are fully visible below the gumline. Your Colesville dentist loosens the tooth with a tool called an elevator, then removes it with forceps. Simple extractions often require just a local anesthetic, but stronger anesthesia may be needed for very young patients or those with dental anxiety.
Surgical extractions are performed when a tooth is still inside the gum or has broken off at the gumline. Sometimes a small amount of bone surrounding the tooth needs to be removed in these cases. IV or general anesthesia may be needed for a surgical extraction.
After the tooth is removed, you'll bite down on pieces of gauze to stop the bleeding. If you're receiving more than a local anesthetic, you'll need to have someone ready to drive you home. Your dentist will send you on your way with complete instructions about caring for your mouth during the healing process.
Most of the bleeding and swelling should be over within a day or two, and full healing takes about two weeks. Your dentist will prescribe pain medications to support your comfort during healing. You can also apply an ice pack to the jaw as needed to ease your pain and reduce swelling.
General Dentist in Silver Spring, MD
The decision to have a tooth extracted can be difficult. At Colesville Dentistry, we're committed to making sure that you fully understand and are comfortable with every treatment you receive. To learn more about your treatment options, call your Silver Spring general dentist at (301) 384-6000 or request your appointment now.