At Stadium Dental Center in Jefferson City, MO we do our best to preserve your natural smile but circumstances may lead you to choose to remove one or more of your teeth—what we call a dental extraction.
Why are teeth extracted?
Teeth are most often extracted because disease and/or damage have left the tooth beyond salvage without–or maybe even with–“heroic” efforts. Patients suffering from periodontal (gum) disease also may have extractions to remove loose teeth.
Dental extractions also may need to be done as part of orthodontic treatment plans. In order to properly align your teeth, your orthodontist may recommend extraction to provide the room needed to accomplish this goal. Another reason for extraction involves teeth that are impacted—meaning they’re unable to emerge through the gumline. This condition, left untreated, may lead to future dental problems.
What happens in extraction procedures?
We begin by numbing the area around the extraction site. No dental extraction will begin before the numbing has taken effect! Sometimes sedation or nitrous oxide (‘laughing gas’) help with relieving anxiety and increasing comfort if you request one of these options.
When extracting an impacted tooth, we retract the gum tissue and remove bone to expose the tooth. While a tooth is usually removed in one piece, it’s sometimes faster and easier to “divide and conquer” hard-to-remove teeth in separate segments.
After completing the dental extraction, a gauze pad is placed over the socket to control bleeding. Sometimes we’ll stitch gum tissue around the extraction site to help it heal quickly.
Are there any risks associated with dental extractions?
Tooth extractions are a common surgical experience so, as with most surgeries, there is a slight chance of post-treatment infection. Before having your extraction, advise us of any medications and conditions you may have. Your medical history will guide us in creating the pre- and post-treatment plan best suited to your needs. We’ll advise you if there are specific anatomic risks related to certain extractions.
What should I do after a dental extraction?
To have the smoothest recovery, you should follow the post-extraction instructions outlined by your Jefferson City dental team. To reduce post-extraction pain and swelling, we prescribe pain medication and the use of ice on the affected area. We may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent the extraction area from becoming infected.
Gently (!) keep the extraction site clean. We recommend that you avoid smoking and drinking milkshakes from a straw within the first 24 hours after an extraction. This isn’t the time to stop brushing and flossing your teeth, but take care near the extraction site to avoid irritating it. We recommend that you rinse your mouth with tap water or a homemade salt-water solution. Swish gently to avoid dislodging the blood clot present in the extraction site.
If you experience any symptoms, such as uncontrolled pain, increased swelling, nausea or vomiting, redness or discharge from the extraction site, or shortness of breath, contact Stadium Dental Center immediately. These symptoms could indicate treatment complications needing our urgent attention.
What about tooth replacement after dental extraction?
Depending on your circumstances, we may recommend replacing extracted teeth with implants, dentures, or a bridge. We’re happy to discuss your situation so you can learn more about your available options.