Why Might I Need a Tooth Extracted?There are several reasons why it might be necessary to have one or more teeth extracted. Teeth can become badly damaged due to injury or disease and may not be salvageable, or they might need extracting due to lack of room in your jaw. This is often the case with wisdom teeth that try to erupt into a mouth that is simply too small to accommodate them.
Tooth Extraction Due to Gum Disease
Gum disease is a common reason for tooth extraction, as it can severely damage or loosen a tooth so it cannot be saved. In this case you will receive a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth is located, but we can supply a stronger sedation if you need more than one teeth removed or if you are nervous or anxious. The actual procedure to remove the tooth is generally very quick, and after it has been extracted you might have a few stitches. You’ll need to gently bite down on a clean piece of gauze immediately after the extraction to help stop the bleeding.
Once the extraction site has healed you can think about replacing the tooth, perhaps with an implant, bridge or denture. If the extraction site is in a highly visible area we can provide you with a temporary tooth until you can have it more permanently replaced.
Preserving Bone in the Empty Socket
After your tooth has been extracted it will leave behind an empty socket that used to support the tooth. When the tooth was in position it supplied plenty of stimulation to the bony socket, as the forces created during biting and chewing were transmitted through the tooth, out into the tooth roots and into the surrounding bone, keeping it strong and healthy. Without the presence of the tooth, the bony socket can soon become thinner and shallower as the bone is reabsorbed, and this can create problems for future tooth replacement.
One particular bone preserving technique is to place a bone graft at the same time as the tooth is extracted. This helps prevent bone loss and will provide a better prognosis for future tooth replacement. If you intend to have a dental implant, the bone graft will help to support the implant post. If you opt for a dental bridge, then the bone graft will help reduce the gap underneath the pontic or replacement tooth. Using this technique can also help save time in the future, as bone grafts often need to be left to heal for up to six months before an implant can be placed.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Wisdom tooth removal is extremely common as these teeth are the last to come through and there often isn’t enough room for them to erupt properly. Consequently wisdom teeth can sometimes partially erupt, will try to erupt at an angle or underneath adjacent teeth. These wisdom teeth are referred to as being impacted. Impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth can cause dental problems. Food and bacteria can easily get trapped between the edge of the gum and the partially erupted tooth, creating tooth decay and gum disease. Although it may be possible to treat these teeth, it’s often a better and more permanent option to remove them completely as many people struggle to keep their wisdom teeth clean because they are so far back in the mouth. If you do experience pain around your wisdom teeth, it’s best to seek treatment as soon as possible rather than waiting until your regular checkup.
What Is the Procedure for Wisdom Tooth Removal?
Wisdom teeth can be taken out under a local anesthetic, or if you prefer we will provide extra sedation dentistry in NYC. The area around the tooth will be numbed so you will not experience any wisdom teeth removal pain, although you might feel some pressure as the tooth is actually extracted. In some cases it is easier to cut the tooth up into several pieces before it is extracted. Wisdom teeth surgery is not a particularly long procedure, and some may only take a few minutes to remove while more complex cases will take a little longer.
Tooth Extraction after Care in Midtown Manhattan, NYC Office
After removal you will need to bite down on a clean piece of gauze to help stop the bleeding, and it’s possible you may experience some swelling and slight discomfort on both the inside and outside of your mouth. The bleeding should stop quite quickly, but afterwards you’ll need to take care to keep the extraction site clean until it heals. If the extraction site is still bleeding after 24 hours then please contact us for further advice.
We will give you full instructions on how to look after your mouth, and you might need to use a warm salt water rinse every four hours for the first few days to aid healing. If you have any discomfort, this can usually be controlled with over-the-counter painkillers, and any tooth extraction pain should be fairly temporary and will clear up within the first few days. Some people find it helpful to use an ice pack to reduce swelling, or alternatively you can try moist heat to keep the area more comfortable. It’s best to eat soft foods at first, and to gradually add solid foods as the area heals.
It’s extremely important not to dislodge the blood clot that will have formed in the empty socket as this helps healing and protects the socket against infection. Don’t use a straw for the first few days as sucking can loosen the blood clot, and you shouldn’t smoke for at least 24 hours after surgery as the sucking motion can dislodge the blood clot. In addition, smoking can delay healing as it decreases the blood supply to the empty socket.
Dry Socket as a Complication
One possible complication of tooth extractions is a condition called dry socket. This is where the blood clot is dislodged from the empty socket, increasing the risk of the socket becoming infected. If this happens you’ll notice any tooth extraction pain seems to become worse instead of better, and you may have a dull aching sensation in your jaw or gum. You may have a bad taste in your mouth or bad breath. If you look at the empty socket, it might be possible to see the exposed bone rather than the blood clot. Dry socket only occurs in a tiny percentage of cases, and we can treat it by cleaning out the empty socket and dressing the area to help aid healing and to reduce pain.