You and your dentist may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any one of a number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed, others may have advanced periodontal disease (“gum disease”), or else have broken in a fashion which cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted wisdom teeth), or else in preparation for orthodontic treatment (“braces”).
Your dentist will need to examine your mouth and teeth before a determination can be made that a tooth extraction is warranted. As a part of this examination a x-ray will be taken of the tooth in question. This x-ray will allow your dentist to evaluate both the internal aspects of the tooth as well as the tooth’s root portion and the bone that encases it.
To perform the tooth extraction, your dentist will advise you of what post extraction regiment to follow. In most cases, a small amount of bleeding is normal.
Avoid anything that might prevent normal healing. It is usually best not to smoke or rinse your mouth vigorously, or drink through a straw for 24 hours. These activities could dislodge the clot and delay healing.
For the first few days, if you must rinse, rinse your mouth gently. For pain or swelling, apply a cold cloth or an ice bag. Ask your dentist about pain medication. You can brush and floss the other teeth as usual. But don’t clean the teeth next to the tooth socket.
When having an extraction, today’s modern procedures and follow up care as recommended by your dentist are there to provide you, the patient, great benefit and comfort.