Dentists have a number of techniques to save a tooth, but sometimes a tooth is so badly damaged, decayed, or impacted that the only solution is an extraction. An extraction is a simple procedure, but to avoid any discomfort, it’s important to find a dentist you trust. At his practice in Richmond, Virginia, Juan M. Carrillo, DMD, is committed to providing premium dental care, including extraction surgery, in a comforting and welcoming environment. Call the practice today or set up your appointment online.
Tooth extraction is simply removing a tooth from your mouth, and it can be done for a number of reasons. A tooth may need to come out because it’s too damaged, either by trauma or by decay, to remain in your mouth. Gum disease can also cause your teeth to loosen or become compromised.
You could also need an extraction if your teeth begin to crowd each other. Infection to the pulp of your tooth or to the surrounding area can also be a reason to remove a tooth, assuming root canal treatment is impossible or ineffective. In some cases, Dr. Carrillo may recommend a tooth for extraction just because its risk of infection is so high, especially if you have a compromised immune system.
While an extraction can make a lot of people nervous, it’s a simple procedure that Dr. Carrillo can perform quickly and with minimal discomfort. The first step is to numb your tooth and surrounding area with a local anesthetic. If the tooth is impacted, meaning it’s still covered partially or totally by your gums, Dr. Carrillo removes the top layer of gum to access the tooth.
Dr. Carrillo secures the tooth with forceps and rocks it gently back and forth to loosen it from the bone and ligaments that hold it in place. Sometimes the tooth may need to be removed in smaller pieces.
Once Dr. Carrillo is able to remove the tooth, he places some gauze in the socket and asks you to bite down on it to help stop the bleeding. In some cases, it may be necessary to close your gums with a few self-dissolving stitches.
You have several long-term options for replacing the missing tooth, including bridgework, partial dentures or a dental implant, and you can discuss these options with Dr. Carrillo. In the short term, you’ll need a couple of days to recover from the extraction. When you go home, continue biting down on the gauze pad to ensure your blood is properly clotting and avoid a painful condition called dry socket.
Use ice and over-the-counter painkillers to combat any pain and swelling that occurs and avoid smoking or drinking through a straw for at least a few days.
If you’re worried about a tooth, or if you have any questions, call the office today or make your appointment online.