The Last Resort to Get You Out of Tooth Pain
If a tooth has been broken or damaged by decay, Dr. Sunitha Sirivolu dentist in Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, FL will try to fix it with a filling, crown or other treatment. Sometimes there is too much damage for the tooth to be repaired. In this case, the tooth needs to be extracted. A very loose tooth also will require extraction if it can't be saved, even with bone replacement surgery (bone graft).
Here are Other Reasons Why to Extract a Tooth:
- Some people have extra teeth that block other teeth from coming in.
- Sometimes baby teeth don't fall out in time to allow the permanent teeth to come in.
- People getting braces may need teeth extracted to create room for the teeth that are being moved into place.
- People receiving radiation to the head and neck may need to have teeth in the field of radiation extracted.
- People receiving cancer drugs may develop infected teeth because these drugs weaken the immune system. Infected teeth may need to be extracted.
- Some teeth may need to be extracted if they could become a source of infection after an organ transplant. People with organ transplants have a high risk of infection because they must take drugs that decrease or suppress the immune system.
- Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are often extracted either before or after they come in.
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What to Expect Before the Tooth Extraction:
Dr. Sirivolu will need to take an X-ray of the area to help plan the best way to remove the tooth. Be sure to provide your full medical and dental history and a list of all medicines you take. This should include both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and supplements.
If you are having wisdom teeth removed, you may have a panoramic X-ray. This X-ray takes a picture of all your teeth at once. It can show several things that help to guide an extraction:
- The relationship of your wisdom teeth to your other teeth
- The upper teeth's relationship to your sinuses
- The lower teeth's relationship to a nerve in the jawbone that gives feeling to your lower jaw, lower teeth, lower lip and chin. This nerve is called the inferior alveolar nerve.
- Any infections, tumors or bone disease that may be present
Sometimes antibiotics will be prescribed, to be taken before and after surgery. Antibiotics are more likely to be given if:
- You have infection at the time of surgery
- You have a weakened immune system
- You will have a long surgery
- You have specific medical conditions
What to Expect During the Tooth Extraction:
There are two types of extractions:
- A simple extraction is performed on a tooth that can be seen in the mouth. Dr. Sirivolu dentist in Wellington, Royal Palm Beach does simple extractions. In a simple extraction, the she loosens the tooth with an instrument called an elevator. Then he uses an instrument called forceps to remove the tooth.
- A surgical extraction is a more complex procedure. It is used if a tooth may have broken off at the gum line or has not come into the mouth yet. Surgical extractions are done by the oral surgeon, Dr. Nishul Patel at the Wellington, Royal Palm Beach office. He makes a small incision (cut) into your gum. Sometimes it's necessary to remove some of the bone around the tooth or to cut the tooth in half in order to extract it.
- Most simple extractions can be done using just an injection (a local anesthetic). You may or may not receive drugs to help you relax. For a surgical extraction, you will receive a local anesthetic, and a drug to help you relax.
- During a tooth extraction, you can expect to feel pressure, but no pain. If you feel any pain or pinching, tell your Wellington, Royal Palm Beach dentist during the procedure.
What to Expect After the Extraction:
Your Wellington, Royal Palm Beach dentist will give you detailed instructions on what to do and what to expect after your surgery. If you have any questions, make sure to ask them before you leave the office.
You can expect some discomfort after simple extractions. Usually it is mild. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs include ibuprofen, such as Advil, Motrin can greatly decrease pain after a tooth extraction. Take the dose that Dr. Sirivolu recommends, 3 to 4 times a day. Take the first pills before the local anesthesia wears off. Continue taking them for 3 days. Ask her for complete instructions.
Surgical extractions generally cause more pain after the procedure than simple extractions. The level of discomfort and how long it lasts will depend on how difficult it was to remove the tooth. Your Wellington, Royal Palm Beach dentist may prescribe pain medicine for a few days and then suggest an ibuprofen. Most pain disappears after a couple of days.
A cut in the mouth tends to bleed more than a cut on the skin because it cannot dry out and form a scab. After an extraction, you'll be asked to bite on a piece of gauze for 20 to 30 minutes. This pressure will allow the blood to clot. You will still have a small amount of bleeding for the next 24 hours or so. It should taper off after that. Don't disturb the clot that forms on the wound.
- You can put ice packs on your face to reduce swelling. Typically, they are left on for 20 minutes at a time and removed for 20 minutes. If your jaw is sore and stiff after the swelling goes away, try warm compresses.
- Eat soft and cool foods for a few days. Then try other food as you feel comfortable.
- A gentle rinse with warm salt water, started 24 hours after the surgery, can help to keep the area clean. Use one-half teaspoon of salt in a cup of water. Most swelling and bleeding end within a day or two after the surgery. Initial healing takes at least two weeks.
If you need stitches, your oral surgeon in Wellington, Royal Palm Beach may use the kind that dissolve on their own. This usually takes one to two weeks. Rinsing with warm salt water will help the stitches to dissolve. Some stitches need to be removed by your dentist.
You should not smoke, use a straw or spit after surgery. These actions can pull the blood clot out of the hole where the tooth was. Do not smoke on the day of surgery. Do not smoke for 24 to 72 hours after having a tooth extracted.
Risks to Concern When You Get an Extraction:
- A problem called a dry socket develops in about 3% to 4% of all extractions. This occurs when a blood clot doesn't form in the hole or the blood clot breaks off or breaks down too early.
- In a dry socket, the underlying bone is exposed to air and food. This can be very painful and can cause a bad odor or taste. Typically, dry sockets begin to cause pain the third day after surgery.
- Dry socket occurs up to 30% of the time when impacted teeth are removed. It is also more likely after difficult extractions. Smokers and women who take birth control pills are more likely to have a dry socket. Smoking on the day of surgery further increases the risk. A dry socket needs to be treated with a medicated dressing to stop the pain and encourage the area to heal.
When to Call a Professional after an Extraction:
Call your Wellington, Royal Palm Beach dentist if:
- The swelling gets worse instead of better.
- You have fever, chills or redness
- You have trouble swallowing
- You have uncontrolled bleeding in the area
- The area continues to ooze or bleed after the first 24 hours
- Your tongue, chin or lip feels numb more than 3 to 4 hours after the procedure
- The extraction site becomes very painful -- This may be a sign that you have developed a dry socket.
If you have an infection, your Wellington, Royal Palm Beach dentist usually will prescribe antibiotics.
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