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Dental Extractions


Permanent teeth were intended to last your lifetime, but at some point in your life, you may need to have a tooth extracted. Extraction is only necessary in rare cases if your tooth damage is beyond repair. We strive to keep your smile healthy, clean, and trouble-free. Unfortunately, we can’t always do that. We will always try to exhaust any options before we resort to extraction!

Do I Need a Dental Extraction?

Sometimes there is nothing we can do to save a tooth and will have to remove it. That may be the case if you have teeth severely damaged by decay, teeth that are severely infected and cannot be saved by a root canal, or teeth that are injured in an accident. Sometimes we need to extract a tooth in an overcrowded mouth to make the extra space required to correct teeth alignment.

In some cases, we need to extract teeth due to the risk of infections. When patients suffer from a compromised immune system due to health conditions including chemotherapy, or an organ transport, extracting a tooth can remove the source of infection, preventing the risk of complications.

Wisdom teeth, otherwise known as third molars usually come in between the ages of 17 and 25. They may need extraction due to a variety of reasons. Sometimes they are impacted, meaning they do not erupt and are trapped in the jawbone or gums. Sometimes wisdom teeth come out at the wrong angle and may damage the teeth next to them call the second molars. At times, there isn’t enough space in your jaw for your new set of molars.

Being so far in the back of your mouth, you may not be able to reach your wisdom teeth with your toothbrush or dental floss, causing cavities or gum disease. If decayed or infected, they could cause a lot of pain and will need removal. Sometimes it’s best to extract wisdom teeth before they become a problem, potentially requiring more complicated treatments.

What Is the Procedure?

Before your surgery, we will meet to discuss the process. You will need to let us know about any health problems you have and any drugs you take on a regular basis. We will address the type of anesthesia you will need, and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions.

First, we will start by numbing the area using an anesthetic. If using a local anesthetic, we will numb your mouth with a Novocaine shot. You may also opt to breathe in nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas so that you can relax during the procedure. If using IV sedation, we will numb your mouth and also give you a drug intravenously to make you drowsy. In some cases, we will administer a general anesthetic which allows you to sleep comfortably through the procedure.

There are two primary types of dental extractions. A simple one is used to remove teeth that are easily seen and accessible, while a surgical one is a more involved procedure.

During a simple extraction, we will loosen your tooth with an instrument called an elevator, then we will use forceps to pull out the tooth. During a surgical removal, we will first make an incision in the gum and bone tissue to gain access to the tooth we will remove. We will then use forceps to loosen and remove it. If needed, we may need to fragment your tooth into several pieces so that we can extract it.

After your extraction, we may need to use stitches to close the gum up over the extraction site. We will have you bite down on a gauze pad to help stop any bleeding. Soon, a blood clot will begin forming in your tooth socket.

What Is Dry Socket?

One of the most common side effects of dental extractions is a condition called dry socket, which happens if the blood clot forming in the tooth socket becomes dislodged, exposing the underlying bone to air and food. Dry socket can cause severe pain in the area and will need treatment at our office. We will place a medical dressing over your tooth socket to help promote healing.

Care After Tooth Extraction

After your tooth extraction, you may experience some pain and discomfort which you can alleviate using anti-inflammatory prescribed medication. Full healing usually takes about one to two weeks. Over time, the gap your extracted tooth leaves behind can cause neighboring teeth to shift, affecting your bite and making it hard to chew. It is best to replace any missing teeth with implants or bridges.

Following the procedure, apply an ice pack to the area to reduce swelling. For the first 24 hours, do not smoke or drink through a straw to avoid dislodging the clot forming in the socket.

You will need to contact us immediately if you notice worsening swelling, or if you have a fever, chills, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, or uncontrolled bleeding. You should also contact us if your extraction site becomes very painful, which could be mean that you have developed dry socket.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Schedule your routine checkup and cleaning to keep your teeth healthy. If Dr. Salvatore Storniolo, DDS finds any problems, he will address them right away to avoid them progressing and needing more involved treatments down the road. There may be instances we will need to extract teeth, but that is our last resort. Our goal is to keep your teeth healthy for years to come!