Tooth Extraction: An Overview
The ultimate goal is to keep your teeth for your entire life. Unfortunately, not many people go with their natural teeth for an entire lifetime, and sometimes a tooth extraction is necessary to improve oral health. There are many situations that would force us to remove a tooth, including various forms of trauma and diseases that have led to irreversible damage to the tooth. In all circumstances, our dentists will try to save the tooth. However, we will provide a tooth extraction in Laurel, MD if we exhaust all other tooth saving measures.
Tooth extraction is one of our most common general dental services at our dentist office in Laurel, MD. Whether you need a wisdom tooth removed or have a severely decayed or damaged tooth causing you pain, Laurel Family Dental Care is here to provide tooth extraction services. Our goal is to restore your smile and your peace of mind.
Tooth Extraction in Laurel, MD
As your trusted dentist in Laurel, MD, we are equipped to handle your next tooth extraction in our office. We provide comprehensive dental care, so you never have to wonder if we will meet your needs. Tooth extraction is a relatively painless procedure that can be performed in a single visit to our dentist office using a local anesthetic. We also offer sedation dentistry for anyone who may experience anxiety or fear of the dentist. Please let us know so we can discuss your sedation options.
Simple Vs. Complex Tooth Extractions
There are two different types of tooth extractions. Simple extractions are easy and occur when the tooth is visible and not hiding under the gums. After simple extractions, you don’t have a long recovery time, and you’re back on your feet in no time. A specialized tool helps to separate the tooth from the socket gently. Once it’s loose, we rock the tooth back and forth and gently remove it from the mouth. A local anesthetic is used to numb the entire area throughout the process.
Complex extractions require more work. These teeth may be broken, with only the root left intact, or they’re impacted and haven’t erupted yet. Wisdom teeth often fall into this category. A surgical extraction is the best way to take on complex cases. In addition to local anesthesia, we use sedation as well. Complex extractions take longer to heal and require you to follow more diligent aftercare instructions. Listen to your dentist to ensure the area heals properly.
Tooth Extraction FAQs
Should I have my wisdom teeth removed?
Your dentist will monitor the growth of your wisdom teeth and help you determine if you need to have them removed. Often, wisdom teeth can cause sore gums, jaw pain, and overcrowding or shifting teeth. Additionally, they are difficult to keep clean because of their position in the far back of your mouth. While each patient is different, we commonly recommend wisdom tooth removal to our patients to avoid future dental issues.
Is tooth extraction painful?
You may experience pressure during the extraction as the dentist is gently dislodging the tooth from its socket. Additionally, for some tooth removals, your dentist may need to make a small incision to assist our doctors in accessing a tooth that has not come in yet. We will use local anesthetics to ensure you do not experience pain. However, you should talk to your dentist about sedation dentistry options if you are especially nervous about your dental procedure.
How long do you wait to eat after the dentists pull a tooth?
You should keep the medical gauze on your extraction site for at least an hour after surgery to ensure proper healing. We recommend only eating soft foods for the first 24 hours after surgery and avoiding using straws to protect the extraction site. Slowly introduce your normal diet patterns in the days following your tooth extraction.
What can I do to prevent complications after a tooth extraction?
To prevent complications after you have a tooth pulled, we recommend:
- Following your dentist’s after care instructions.
- Manage the pain and swelling with prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers and ice
- Maintain proper oral hygiene by continuing to brush your teeth but avoiding the extraction site
- Avoid smoking or using any tobacco
- Maintain a soft diet until you can handle regular foods as you heal
- Avoid activities that could lead to a dry socket, a condition that can happen when the blood clot becomes dislodged
- Schedule your follow-up appointment
What is a dry socket?
A dry socket, or alveolar osteitis, is a very painful condition that can occur after a tooth extraction. It occurs when the blood clot that forms in the socket to protect the underlying bone and nerves is dislodged or dissolves prematurely. When this happens, the nerves and bone are then exposed. This can lead to severe pain, bad breath, and gross taste in your mouth. Dry socket can slow down the healing process and will require treatment from a dentist.
Can I drive after a tooth extraction?
You will be able to drive home after a simple tooth extraction is performed. On the other hand, a surgical extraction will involve sedation and you will need to have someone drive you home. A simple extraction will only use a local anesthetic as were just simply numbing the area around the tooth. The surgical extraction will use sedation which will leave you feeling lightheaded or groggy after the procedure. You will be unable to drive in this state as it is unsafe.
How long will it take me to recover from my tooth extraction?
It should take you anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to recover from your tooth extraction. Recovery typically depends on factors such as the type of extraction you will have, how fast you heal, and your overall health and oral health. Patients recover faster from a simple extraction. A surgical extraction, especially if the teeth are impacted, will require a longer healing time. It is important to follow your dentist’s instructions for the best recovery.
We encourage you to schedule an appointment with our doctors or call our office at 301-490-7007 if you suspect you require a tooth extraction.