Tooth extraction is necessary for various reasons. Conditions such as impacted teeth, advanced periodontal disease, a severely decayed or broken tooth may lead to extraction. Treatment for an orthodontic procedure is another reason your dentist might need to remove one or more teeth. Removing only one tooth could lead to other problems such as shifting teeth, difficulty chewing and jaw joint soreness. Either of these conditions can have a serious impact on your overall dental health.

    Extraction Process
    Before the extraction process begins, the dentist will numb the surrounding area using the WAND computerized anesthetic delivery system. This area includes your jawbone, gums and the tooth that is being removed. You will feel pressure from widening the socket for tooth removal. You will not experience any pain as the anesthesia numbs the nerves that cause pain. The sensation of pressure, however, is not affected by the anesthesia.

    Teeth Sectioning
    In some cases, teeth sectioning is required during extractions. This occurs when the tooth is curved or has a firm anchor in the socket and rocking the tooth does not easily remove it. It becomes necessary to cut the tooth into sections for multiple extractions of one tooth.

    After Care for Extractions
    Dr. Birckhead & Dr. Powers will provide after care instructions for extractions. Some bleeding, swelling and pain is not unusual after tooth extractions. When you are treated, you can expect expert care before, during and after undergoing an extraction.

    Some extractions may cause bleeding. Generally, bleeding is controlled with placing a moist gauze over the socket and holding it firmly for at least 30 minutes.

    Placing an ice bag on your face can help to reduce the swelling that may occur.

    Pain Medication
    We usually recommend over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen after the procedure to relieve the pain.

    Empty Socket Blood Clots
    Proper healing leads to blood clots. Dislodging the clot interrupts the healing process. To avoid potentially interrupting the blood clot as it forms, do not rinse or spit during the first 24 hours after the extraction. Additionally, do not use a straw, drink hot liquids or smoke before your dentist examines the socket.

    Dry Socket
    It is important to follow the after care instructions to ensure healing. A blood clot that does not form properly could lead to a dry socket and delay the healing process.
    You have a dry socket if throbbing pain manifests approximately four days after the procedure. The pain occurs in the extraction area, and can range from moderate to severe. You might also notice bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.

    Eating, Brushing & Cleaning
    We also recommend changes to your eating, brushing and cleaning habits. You should not chew in the extraction site or drink hot liquids for at least 24 hours.
    For one day after the extraction, you will not be able to brush the teeth near site. Afterwards, gently clean the area, avoiding commercial mouth rinses. Use warm salt water after meals and before bedtime.

    Healing from Extractions
    After a tooth extraction, the extraction site smoothes out and is filled with bone. You will begin to notice a difference within 1-2 weeks. The entire process can last for several weeks or months.