Pulling a tooth is always a dentist’s last resort. Whenever possible, your dentist and their staff will try to restore your oral health while preserving your teeth. Having said that, sometimes performing an extraction is the right choice. There are three general situations when a dentist near you may recommend tooth extractions in West Roxbury: If your tooth is so badly damaged or infected that no other form of treatment can save it; if your jaw has become too crowded to contain all of your current or emerging teeth in proper and healthy position; and if your wisdom teeth are emerging and may threaten or distort the alignment of your other teeth, or if those wisdom teeth are becoming impacted (stuck) under other teeth in your jaw.
What happens during tooth extraction procedures?
The precise process that your dentist in West Roxbury will follow to pull a tooth depends on whether the tooth to be pulled is intact (or broken) and visible (or still beneath your gums). While tooth extractions near you vary from one patient to the next depending on their personal situations, extractions generally fall into two categories: Simple extractions and surgical extractions.
A simple extraction is the pulling of a tooth that is visible above your gums and in a single piece. They call it a “simple” extraction because it’s, well, simple (for your dentist). After completely numbing the area around your tooth, your dentist will lift the tooth from and out of its position in your jaw using instruments called elevators and forceps.
Surgical extractions are performed in more complex situations, such as when the tooth broke beneath your gums, has fractured into more than one piece, or was impacted beneath your gums (such as unerupted wisdom teeth). Surgical extractions involve many more steps than simple extractions, including incisions into your gums to expose the roots of teeth and the bone of your jaw; removal of bone and/or gum tissue to enable access to the tooth; sectioning (reducing the tooth into smaller fragments) of the tooth; and extraction.
If necessary, that staff at your dental office in West Roxbury will close up your gums with self-dissolving stitches and will ensure that a clot has developed in the extraction site to ensure infection-free recovery. Your dentist will give you detailed instructions about how to maintain that clot throughout your recovery process to avoid the development of a painful potential complication called dry socket.
What about after getting a tooth pulled?
While the extraction process itself will be pain-free — which is not to say you won’t sense pressure, movement, vibrations or sounds unless the procedure is performed under sedation — you should anticipate some discomfort during your recovery period. Here are several simple tips to follow to minimize discomfort as you recover while minimizing the risk of developing complications:
- Use cold compresses and ice to reduce swelling
- Use over the counter pain medications if necessary, but always follow directions
- Minimize your physical effort and exertion during the recovery period
- Don’t use straws or spit during recovery; both activities produce suction that can dislodge your clot
- Don’t smoke or drink alcohol during recovery; both activities delay your body’s normal healing processes. Smoking also produces suction that can dislodge your clot
- Eat only soft, bland and lukewarm foods until your dentist advises otherwise. It’ll be boring for a while, but it’s the best way to protect the sensitive tissues around your extraction site during recovery
- Don’t neglect your oral hygiene during your recovery. Keep brushing and flossing, but avoid your extraction site until your dentist tells you otherwise
If you ever experience any sensations or symptoms that you did not expect or were not prepared for during your recovery period, get in touch with a dentist near you right away. While we understand that tooth extractions are a stressful experience for patients, the procedure is a simple and straightforward one for a qualified and conscientious dentist. Be sure to ask your dentist any questions you have before your extraction and to follow your dentist’s instructions during your recovery.