Tooth extraction is the complete removal of a tooth, from the part of the tooth that you can see to the roots that are in the jawbone. Damage caused by tooth decay is the most common reason for a tooth's extraction. Other reasons for removing a tooth include infection or injury. Removing the tooth can help keep an infection from spreading to other parts of the mouth. And some teeth may be removed to prevent or correct crowding in the mouth.
Your dentist or an oral surgeon, who specializes in surgeries of the mouth, can remove a tooth. It can be done in the dentist's or oral surgeon's office.
The dentist first numbs (freezes) the area around the tooth. You may also get medicine to help you relax. The dentist uses a special tool to grasp the tooth and lift it out of the tooth socket. You may feel a tug on the tooth as it is being removed. If the tooth breaks while being pulled, or if it doesn't come out in one piece, the dentist uses other tools to remove the rest of the tooth. After the tooth comes out, you will be given a piece of gauze to bite down on. This will help stop bleeding. You may need stitches. You will be told if and when you should come back to have the stitches removed.
You may have some pain, bleeding, or swelling afterward. The dentist may give you medicine for pain. The pain should steadily decrease in the days after the extraction.
A blood clot will form in the tooth socket after the extraction. The clot protects the bone during healing. If that blood clot gets loose or comes out of the socket, you may have a dry socket, which exposes the bone. A dry socket may last for several days and can cause severe pain. If you get a dry socket, your dentist can treat it with medicine.
You and your dentist may want to discuss options to replace the removed tooth. Options include an implant, a denture, or a bridge.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your dentist if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your dentist now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your dentist if you have any problems.
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Current as of: December 19, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry & Steven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry
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