Tooth Extractions

girl smiling with fallen tooth in her hand

Tooth extractions are procedures that dentists perform to maintain your oral health by removing teeth that are severely decayed, damaged, or otherwise problematic. In some cases, tooth extractions may also be necessary to prepare your mouth for cosmetic dental treatment. There are two different types of tooth extractions your dentist may perform depending on the condition of the tooth in need of extraction: simple and surgical. Simple extractions are used to remove teeth that are fully intact and erupted out of the gums, while surgical extractions are used to remove teeth that are partially or completely impacted below the gums.

Did You Know?

Tooth extractions are a dental surgery that can be performed by your dentist in their office. In some complicated cases, however, they may choose to recommend an oral surgeon instead. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an extraction?

You may need a tooth extraction if you have one or more teeth that are severely decayed or damaged. You may also need a tooth extraction if you have wisdom teeth that are partially or fully impacted underneath the gum tissue. However, only a dental exam with x-rays can determine the need for a tooth extraction, so you will need to schedule an appointment with your Kamloops dental office. 

tooth extraction

What can I expect during my extraction procedure?

During your tooth extraction procedure, the affected area will be anesthetized to keep it numb. Additionally, dental sedation will also be used to keep you relaxed during the procedure. There are varying levels of sedation ranging from moderate to deep. Before your extraction appointment, these options will be discussed in depth to determine what level of sedation will be used. 

Once you have been sedated, the extraction procedure will be performed using one of the aforementioned extraction techniques. If a simple extraction technique is used, then the affected tooth will be elevated from the socket with a special tool and removed as one piece using forceps. If a surgical extraction technique is used, then a small incision will be made in the gums to access the impacted tooth. The affected tooth will then be broken down into sections and each section will be individually removed in order to minimize trauma. This allows an impacted tooth to be removed in a way that preserves the surrounding structures and expedites healing. 

What can I expect when recovering from the extraction procedure?

Woman with Ice pack

After your extraction procedure, you will receive post-operative guidelines to follow during recovery. When recovering from an extraction, you can expect some soreness and swelling in the days following. To manage the pain, over the counter pain medications can be used. Additionally, ice can be applied for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off to decrease discomfort and swelling in the first 48 hours. After 48 hours, moist heat can also be used to manage discomfort.

It is also not uncommon to experience some bleeding from the extraction site. For this reason, you will likely have cotton stuffed in your mouth around the extraction site. If the area is actively bleeding, apply firm pressure by gently biting down on rolled up gauze. It is also recommended to bite down on a tea bag because the tannins in tea help to constrict the blood vessels. If the bleeding persists after 30 minutes, call our office for further instruction.  

You will also want to maintain a temporary soft foods diet after your extraction. In the first 24 hours, you will need to avoid hot foods because they can cause bleeding at the extraction site. Be sure to avoid eating foods that can become lodged in the extraction site, such as rice. Finally, you cannot drink from a straw because the suction can cause the protective blood clot over the extraction site to become dislodged. This is called a dry socket and it can cause significant discomfort. 

How long does it take to heal from a tooth extraction?

Your exact recovery time will depend upon the type and extent of the extraction. With that being said, most extraction sites will heal up in around 7-10 days. 

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