Tooth Extractions in Racine
Removing a tooth is sometimes necessary, whether it’s to remove a damaged or infected tooth, or to prevent ill effects from badly positioned or impacted teeth. The procedure is always accomplished with the focus on our patient’s comfort.
Sometimes, the problems that lead to tooth extraction can be solved in other ways, such as root canal treatment, a crown or treatment for periodontal disease. In other cases, extraction is the only appropriate treatment to improve your oral health. It may be needed for several reasons:
- Badly positioned or crooked teeth affecting your ability to bite properly
- Advanced gum disease or tooth decay
- Broken or damaged teeth that can’t be repaired
- Impacted or partially erupted teeth
- Bacterial infection threatening your health
- Sports injury or sudden trauma to a tooth
- Preparation for orthodontic treatment that will move your teeth
What to Expect From an Extraction
Having a tooth removed is a routine procedure, and when managed properly a patient can expect to be comfortable with minimal risk of complications following the procedure. Following your dentist’s instructions for good home care afterward usually results in a well-healed mouth in just a few weeks.
A “routine” extraction involves loosening the tooth and sliding it out of the jaw. When a tooth is broken or buried beneath the gum, it is sometimes necessary to make an incision in the gum and remove surrounding bone in order to remove the tooth; stitches would then be placed to facilitate healing. Following recommended home care instructions after this more complex, or “surgical,” extraction will ensure rapid and comfortable healing.
At-Home Care After a Tooth Extraction
It’s crucial to take good care of the site of the extraction when you get home. A blood clot will form over the socket left behind, as your body naturally heals the opening. It’s important not to disturb the clot during this time, so as to not impede healing and result in a painful condition called dry socket. Dr. Gould will give you detailed instructions on caring for your mouth during recovery, including these recommendations:
- Avoid smoking and any other tobacco use
- Avoid rinsing your mouth vigorously
- Don’t drink through a straw
- Avoid spitting and sucking motions
Other good home care practices to help encourage healing are applying ice packs on the jaw and face to minimize swelling and pain, rinsing your mouth gently with warm salt water to keep it clean, and taking any prescribed or over-the-counter medicines to minimize infection, inflammation or pain.
Ridge Preservation Graft
When planning to remove a tooth Dr. Gould may recommend a graft to preserve the bone in the jaw. Following the removal of a tooth some of the jaw bone that previously supported the tooth resorbs, or breaks down, as a normal part of the body’s healing process. To minimize that bone loss, at the time of the tooth removal bone grafting material can be placed into the resulting socket. Preserving bone is important for future placement of a dental implant and maintaining the contour and strength of the jaw. Dr. Gould would discuss with you the benefits of a ridge preservation graft if appropriate for you.
Restoring Your Smile After an Extraction
After your extraction site has healed, Dr. Gould may recommend replacement of the missing tooth through restoration procedures like a bridge or dental implants. Replacing missing teeth is important in many cases to prevent the surrounding teeth from drifting out of place or incurring more damage from uneven bite pressure. Over time, missing teeth can also damage your jaw joint and lead to TMJ issues.
Fortunately, advanced dental technology offers high-quality options for tooth replacement that closely replicate the appearance, feel and function of natural teeth, like bridges and implants. Which one will suit you best is an individual question best answered in consultation with Dr. Gould, who can assess factors like jaw support, the condition of surrounding teeth, and the location and number of missing teeth.
If you’re concerned about a tooth that may need extraction, or are dealing with pain, discomfort or damaged or decayed teeth, reach out to our friendly office for a personalized plan to address your oral health problems.