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Tooth Removal

Woman holding cheek due to tooth acheIf a tooth has been damaged or decayed, at Tualatin Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we will try to restore it with a dental filling, root canal therapy or/and a crown. However, sometimes, we have no choice but to remove the tooth.

Reasons for Tooth Extraction

•  A tooth that is too badly damaged or decayed for restoration.
•  Some people have an overcrowded mouth with extra teeth that need to be removed to allow other teeth to come in.
•  Sometimes, a baby tooth doesn't fall out in time to make way for the permanent tooth.
•  People who need braces may need to get one or multiple teeth removed to create space in the mouth for teeth alignment.
•  People receiving radiation therapy may need to get teeth that are in the field of radiation removed.
•  Some cancer drugs can cause teeth to become infected, which will have to be removed.
•  Wisdom teeth often do not erupt properly (become impacted) and may develop an infection or cysts. Such teeth need to be removed.
•  People with organ transplant need to take drugs that suppress the immune system, resulting in high risk of teeth infection. These have to be extracted.

Types of Tooth Extraction

There are two types of tooth removal procedures:

Simple Extraction

A simple extraction is performed on a tooth that is visible in the mouth. We will give you a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth so that you remain comfortable during the procedure. We will then loosen your tooth with an instrument called an elevator and remove the tooth from the socket with the help of forceps.

During the extraction, you should feel pressure, but not any pain. If you do so, let us know immediately.

Surgical Extraction

A surgical extraction is done on a tooth which may have broken off at the gumline or has not erupted. We will make a small slit into your gum to expose the tooth. Sometimes it is necessary to split the tooth or remove the surrounding bone structure around the tooth to extract it.

A surgical extraction is more painful than a simple extraction. We will give you a local and intravenous anesthetic for the procedure, though some people may require general anesthesia. These include young children or patients with certain behavioral and medical conditions. You may also be given certain anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling and keep you pain-free after the procedure.

Recovery Period From a Tooth Extraction

Tooth removal is a surgical procedure, and you can expect some degree of pain even after a simple extraction. To manage the discomfort, we will recommend you pain medication like ibuprofen, which you need to take 3 to 4 times a day or as many times as Dr. Emerson Rowley, DMD recommends. You will have to take the first tablet before your anesthesia wears off.

Surgical extraction sites may be more painful, and you may have to take pain medications for a few days. However, most pain disappears after 2 to 3 days. You can also use an ice pack to reduce the swelling or rinse your mouth with a warm salt rinse after 24 hours to keep it from becoming infected.

After the extraction, your wound will bleed sporadically for the next 24 hours. When this happens, bite on a piece of gauze for 20 to 30 minutes. This will help the blood to clot.

To avoid aggravating the wound, you will have to eat soft and cool foods for the next few days until your mouth heals. Also, do not smoke, spit, or sip from a straw as they can dislodge the clot and prevent your wound from healing properly.

Risks of Tooth Extraction

Dry sockets develop in about 3-4% of all tooth extractions. This happens when the blood clot doesn’t form on the surgical site or when the clot becomes dislodged. The underlying tissue, bone, and nerve are exposed to the food and air and run the risk of getting infected. Dry sockets become intensely painful about three days after the extraction.

Some other risks include pain from an incomplete extraction of the tooth root or the development of a hole in the sinus during removal of upper molars. This hole usually heals in a few days by itself, but if it doesn’t, you may need more surgery.

Elderly people who suffer from osteoporosis may also get a fractured jaw in rare cases, due to the pressure applied to wrench out the tooth.

Another uncommon problem is long-lasting numbness in the lower lip or chin, caused by injury to the alveolar nerve. This can take three to six months to heal. In very rare cases, it can be permanent.

If you experience increased swelling, pain and bleeding, fevers and chills, trouble in swallowing or numbness in your tongue or bottom lip, call us at (503) 878-7474 for an urgent appointment.
Tualatin Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

(503) 878-7474
8555 SW Tualatin Rd, Tualatin, OR