Unfortunately a time may come where a tooth will need to be removed. You and Dr. Quickstad or Dr. Wang may determine when that becomes necessary. Some possible reasons why a tooth may need to be removed at our Sammamish dental office include a very large cavity, severe bone loss or periodontal disease causing the tooth to be very loose, or trauma causing the tooth to be broken in a way that it cannot be repaired. Other reasons include poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted wisdom teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment to create more space.
The loss of a single tooth may cause issues related to your chewing ability, your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can eventually have a major impact on your dental health.
To avoid these complications, in most cases, Drs. Quickstad or Wang will present options to save your tooth. However, if the tooth is not salvageable, tooth extraction will need to be conducted at our Sammamish dental office and replacement options can be discussed.
The Extraction Process
In order to extract your tooth, Dr. Quickstad or Dr. Wang will numb your tooth, jaw bone and gums that surround that particular tooth with local anesthetic. We will make sure you are completely numb before beginning the extraction.
During the extraction process you will feel a lot of pressure from the manipulation of the tooth in order to remove it. This sensation of pressure can not be removed unfortunately but no pain should be felt. This is because the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the sensation of pain, yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected.
If you do feel pain at any time during your tooth extraction at our Sammamish office, please let us know right away so we can stop and get you more profoundly numb.
Sectioning a Tooth
In some cases a tooth may need to be cut into multiple pieces to remove it. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is too firmly anchored within the jaw bone or the root is curved and can’t exit in a straight path. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into separate pieces and then removes each section one at a time.
After Tooth Extraction
After a tooth is extracted, it is important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding. This is crucial for the healing process. Biting on a piece of gauze with firm pressure for 30-45 minutes immediately after the extraction will assist the blood clot formation. If you are still bleeding or oozing persists, place another piece of gauze and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. This may take several attempts before a blood clot is fully formed. If you are still bleeding heavily after a few hours, please see a medical provider.
Once the blood clot forms, it is crucial to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Measures to take include not rinsing vigorously, sucking on straws, smoking, drinking alcohol or brushing teeth at or near the extraction site for 72 hours. These actions may dislodge the clot and delay the healing process. This may also cause a “Dry Socket” to form which is very uncomfortable. Limit any vigorous exercise or heavy lifting for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause additional bleeding from the extraction site.
After the tooth is extracted, it is not unusual to experience some pain and swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen vegetable applied to the site will help keep swelling to a minimum. Place ice for 20 minutes at a time with 20 minutes of a break in-between each interval. Take any needed pain medications as prescribed and the swelling will usually subside after 48 hours.
Use pain medication as directed. If the prescribed pain medication is not providing enough relief, please contact our office. If antibiotics are prescribed, it is critical to complete the prescription for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. It is important to drink lots of fluids and eat a good meal on the day of the extraction. Typically a soft diet is recommended for the next few days as you recover.
It is important to resume your normal dental hygiene routine after 24 hours. Be sure to be gentle at the extraction site for the first few days. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day.
After a few days of healing, you should feel fine and can resume your normal everyday activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to any of the medication after tooth extraction services, please call our Sammamish office immediately.