Tooth Extractions An Overview
While we may do our best to take care of our teeth by brushing and flossing, eventually, most of us will need to see a dentist for a cleaning or – worst case scenario – an extraction. A tooth extraction, also known as exodontia, is a surgical procedure to remove a tooth or teeth from the mouth.
Extractions are done when a tooth has become so decayed or damaged that we can no longer save it. Sometimes, the tooth may be painfully infected, and we must remove it immediately. In other cases, we can save the tooth with root canal therapy.
When should I get my tooth extracted?
A tooth extraction may be necessary when a tooth is damaged beyond repair, infection or abscesses surrounding the tooth cannot be cleared with antibiotics, or when teeth are poorly positioned and crowding other teeth. We may extract an impacted tooth as well. This is likely to happen in wisdom teeth cases.
Proud Smiles considers a tooth extraction treatment a necessity or “last resort”. We recommend it for teeth that are severely decayed, damaged, or crowding the bite. Whenever possible, we’ll preserve the natural tooth structure. The tooth root, in particular, comes with many benefits, so we want that to remain if possible.
A severely damaged or decayed tooth can usually be salvaged with a dental crown. However, there are times when it does more harm than good. Infection can spread and impact other teeth and tissues in your mouth. Damaged tooth fragments can break off and injure the soft tissues in your mouth.
In severe cases of crowding or crooked teeth, they can’t even be moved to the ideal position without removing teeth. We want to ensure that you have a healthy, functional smile. If tooth removal is needed for orthodontic or Invisalign treatment to be successful, we’ll recommend it.
Dr. Paulen performs tooth extractions in Sandy Springs, GA. However, we may recommend oral surgery by a specialist if you need more extensive work done. After tooth extraction, we must follow the post-operative instructions we provide to ensure proper healing.
Wisdom Tooth Removal at Proud Smiles
As a family dentist, Dr. Paulen will monitor the development of your wisdom teeth during routine visits to Proud Smiles. Usually, our mouths don’t have room for this extra set of molars. She will make recommendations about removal when appropriate. In most cases, we can remove wisdom teeth in the familiar comfort of our Sandy Springs dentist office.
The extraction of wisdom teeth is a common and often necessary procedure performed under local anesthesia. Barring any complications, a tooth can be easily removed in one piece. After surgery, patients can expect varying levels of swelling and discomfort. Dr. Paulen will provide post-treatment care instructions to help minimize pain and recovery time.
Tooth Extraction FAQs
Is it better to get a tooth extracted or a root canal?
Most of the time, we can save your decayed tooth with a root canal and dental crown. A dentist will almost always try to save your tooth before extracting it. This is because the natural tooth is the best line of defense against advanced oral health issues versus having no tooth at all.
When can I normally eat after a tooth extraction?
Dentists recommend only eating soup or very soft foods for the first couple of days after an extraction. Do not eat hard or chewy foods, use straws, or smoke. Doing this can hurt your affected area and create a dry socket. Dry socket is when the blood clot dislodges from your extraction site. This causes notable pain and prevents the site from quickly healing.
What is the best pain relief after tooth extraction?
The best way to relieve pain from a tooth extraction is to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, Motrin, etc. Use only as directed and follow all instructions. Pain should subside after the first day of your tooth extraction.