Some patients panic when Dr. Scott Lee mentions extractions, but in the course of normal dental care, there are many reasons why you may need a tooth extracted. If you’re preparing to get braces, but have a pesky tooth in the way, Dr. Lee may decide that a tooth extraction is necessary before the braces can be applied to your teeth. Another reason for a tooth extraction may be to stop an infection from spreading to the rest of your smile, damaging your healthy teeth along the way. Maybe you just have a tooth that’s undergone too much damage and can’t be saved. This is where you may benefit from having a tooth extracted from your smile. No matter what the reason is, Dr. Lee is well prepared and experienced to help you through this dental procedure.
Call our Mesa, AZ office to speak with someone about your upcoming tooth extraction. We’re well equipped to talk you through the process, as well as schedule your appointment. Call 480-838-4185 today.
What is a Tooth Extraction?
During a tooth extraction, Dr. Lee will completely remove the tooth from the socket within your jawbone. This may be necessary for when a tooth can’t be repaired with a simple dental filling or root canal and crown. It may sound like a scary procedure, but we will use an anesthetic, so you won’t feel anything happening during your tooth extraction.
There are two types of tooth extractions that can be performed and we’re happy to talk you through which option is better for your unique smile.
A simple extraction involves the extraction of an exposed tooth. When Dr. Lee can see the tooth, he will loosen the infected tooth with an dental tool. Once the tooth is loose enough to be removed from your jawbone, he will pull the tooth from the socket using forceps. This surgery is fairly easy to complete and again, although it sounds painful, it’s very likely that you won’t feel much discomfort due to the anesthetic given to you before the extraction.
A surgical extraction is a little more complex than a simple extraction, hence the name. During this extraction, Dr. Lee will make a small incision into your gum line, so that he can expose the unerupted tooth. Once he can completely see the tooth, he will surgically remove the tooth.
No matter which type of extraction is appropriate for you, the end result will remain the same. You’ll be free of the pain that the infected tooth was causing you. If the tooth extraction was in preparation for another orthodontic procedure, you’ll be one step closer to reaching your beautiful smile.
Recovering from a Tooth Extraction
Once your tooth is completely extracted from your jawbone, you will need time to heal from this surgery. In most cases, Dr. Lee will recommend that you take over the counter pain relievers, such as Tylenol or Advil, to relieve any discomfort that you feel after the tooth extraction. If the surgery was more difficult than he anticipated, he may prescribe pain medication to help you in the immediate days following your procedure. Icing your jaw is always a smart idea to reduce any inflammation or discomfort that you feel after your surgery. Any pain that you feel should disappear within a few days following your tooth extraction.
A dry socket is a risk associated with having a tooth extracted from your mouth. Roughly 3-4 percent of people who undergo a tooth extraction develop dry sockets. When a tooth is removed from the socket within the jawbone, the bone and nerves are left exposed. Usually, a blood clot forms over this exposed socket, acting as a protective cover for the bone and the nerves where the tooth once sat. When the blood clot dissolves before the socket is healed, the bone and nerves are left exposed to foods and fluids, as well as air. This can cause a painful condition that generally lasts for about a week. The good news is that although this doesn’t happen for the majority of those who have a tooth extracted, it can be easily be treated with medication and time. Dr. Lee will most likely advise you to rest and take over the counter pain relievers, such as Tylenol or Advil, to cope with the pain of dry sockets. However, if the pain is unbearable, which is rare, he can prescribe a stronger pain reliever for the duration of your dry sockets.
You can avoid the risk of developing dry sockets by not drinking through a straw for a few hours after your extraction(s) and letting any blood or saliva be absorbed by gauze or a clean towel, rather than spitting. Sometimes dry sockets can develop despite taking these steps, however.
We understand that having a tooth extracted can elicit anxiety or nervousness. At our Mesa, AZ office, we’re prepared to walk you through the steps and the rare, but possible, complications associated with the removal of a tooth. We will explain each step in full detail and talk about ways to reduce your dental anxiety before your procedure.