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At Legacy Dental in Salt Lake City, Utah, we offer a variety of preventative, cosmetic, and restorative dental services to help you enjoy a lifetime with your natural teeth. Unfortunately, there may come a time when you need to have a tooth extracted.
Tooth extraction is the process of removing a tooth from its socket in the jawbone. If you're facing a tooth extraction, it can be daunting and nerve-wracking. However, this is a standard dental procedure. This procedure is performed by general dentists, oral surgeon, and periodontists. Your general dentist can help determine who should perform your extraction..
The dentists at Legacy Dental have the experience and expertise to perform this dental procedure. Before we extract a tooth, we will thoroughly examine your mouth, gums, and teeth to determine if there are any other options. If an extraction can't be avoided, we will make the procedure as painless as possible. Since your comfort is our primary concern, we will make sure the area is completely numb before we proceed with the extraction.
There are two types of extractions:
The extraction method used will depend on whether the tooth is visible or impacted.
Impaction occurs when one tooth is pushing against another because it does not have the space it needs to grow properly. This tooth is vulnerable to infection and can result in red, bleeding, swollen, or tender gums. Typically, patients with an impacted tooth report pain and swelling of the jaw and difficulty opening their mouths.
Typically, the wisdom teeth (third set of molars) are susceptible to impaction because there's not enough space for them to grow upright. If this is the case, it's best to have the wisdom teeth extracted as soon as possible to avoid damaging the other teeth.
Tartar and plaque buildup can cause tooth decay because it eats away at the enamel, which makes them weak and brittle. If it gets bad enough, an infection may develop resulting in redness, pain, and swelling. If you have a tooth that gets to this point, the best option may be to remove it and replace it with one of our tooth replacement options.
Periodontal/gum disease is typically caused by tartar and plaque buildup. There are many conditions that may develop in the gums and bone surrounding the teeth, but the two most common are periodontitis and gingivitis.
Periodontitis is inflammation of bones/tissues surrounding teeth and gingivitis is inflammation of the gums around the teeth. If the gums or jawbone around a tooth becomes too deteriorated, the best option may be to extract the tooth and replace it with a crown or dental bridge to preserve neighboring teeth.
Often, in an accident, teeth are some of the first casualties. Whether you are hit in the face when playing sports or you are involved in a car accident, your teeth are often vulnerable. In some cases, trauma damages a tooth so much that it cannot be salvaged. If this is the case, extraction becomes necessary.
Impaction not only causes pain, it can also cause overcrowding- which can cause an otherwise straight, perfectly aligned smile to become crooked. By removing the problem teeth, free space is opened for the other teeth to spread out, which can help patients avoid the need for braces.
For a simple extraction, you will be given a local anesthetic. This will numb the area surrounding the tooth. You may still feel some pressure as the tooth is removed, but you should not feel any pain. Once the area is completely numb, the dentist will use a dental tool known as an elevator to loosen the tooth and forceps to pull it out.
A surgical extraction is a bit more complex. You will be given a local anesthetic. We will discuss using nitrous oxide, or oral sedation to help you feel calm and relaxed. If you have any underlying medical conditions or severe dental anxiety, we may offer you general anesthesia, which will put you to sleep while we work. When you wake up, the procedure will be over.
For a surgical extraction, we will cut a small incision into your gum. Depending on the condition of the tooth itself and the surrounding bone, we may need to remove some of the bone or cut your tooth before extracting it.
Immediately following the procedure, apply an ice pack to reduce swelling- only use the ice pack in 10 minute increments
Once the dentist places the gauze over the extraction site, bite down to facilitate clot formation and reduce bleeding. Leave gauze in place for 1 to 2 hours. If the gauze becomes soaked with blood, remove and rinse with cold water, place a new piece of gauze over the site, and apply firm biting pressure for at least 30 minutes.
If you have signs of infection or the pain doesn't resolve after several days, make an appointment as soon as possible.
Typically, following a tooth extraction, your body will naturally form a blood clot in the empty socket- but if the clot does not form or comes out, the bone may be exposed. This is known as "dry socket". If this occurs, the dentist will place a sedative dressing over it for a few days, during which time a new clot should form.
Some other risks of tooth extraction:
If you experience any of the above following a tooth extraction, you need to contact the dental team at Legacy Dental as soon as possible so that we can address the issue before it escalates.
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