The Gulf Coast Dental team is here to help our patients keep their smiles whole and healthy for life, and usually, that means partnering with you to keep your natural smile. However, there are occasion when the removal of one or more teeth is actually the best thing to preserve overall oral health. When this happens, our skilled dentist is happy to offer tooth extractions in a safe and comfortable dental office where you can feel completely relaxed. On this page, we’ll review some of the reasons why we might recommend tooth removal, what to expect from the process, and some basic steps to help you make a full recovery. If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment in our Pensacola dental office, give our friendly dental team a call today.
Why are Teeth Removed?
We want our patients to maintain their healthiest smiles, and we’ll do our utmost to provide the dental care you need to maintain a healthy smile. Some of the reasons why tooth removal may be necessary include:
Severe decay or damage that destroys too much tooth structure for restoration to be possible.
When a tooth is impacted or unable to erupt from the gums.
When baby teeth do not fall out on their own.
Preparation for orthodontic treatments or prior to designing and placing an advanced tooth replacement prosthetic like a partial or full denture.
Wisdom teeth, third molars, are most often removed because their late eruption means there is often not enough space to accommodate these additional teeth.
How is a Tooth Extracted?
Teeth are typically extracted either by pulling or surgical removal. Pulling a tooth is only possible when it has fully erupted from the gum line, but the tooth has not completely fused with the supportive gum and bone tissues. In most cases, we need to provide some amount of surgical intervention to remove the tooth. That may be as simple as making an incision in the soft tissue, but surgical tooth extraction can be a very complex process, especially for larger back teeth. We will do our utmost to make sure your tooth extraction is comfortable and stress free.
What Happens After Tooth Extraction?
Before we even begin the tooth extraction process, one of our team members will carefully explain post-operative care steps to you and/or a trusted friend or family member who will be on hand to help you during recovery. Some of the basics you should remember include:
Stick to a liquid diet for the first 48 hours after tooth extraction, but don’t use a straw as the suction can cause additional discomfort or dislodge your blood clot. When you’re comfortable, you can introduce soft and then firmer foods.
Use ice packs for the first two days at twenty-minute intervals – 20 on and 20 off – to prevent swelling, slow bleeding, and relieve discomfort.
Keep the area clean by removing and replacing gauze as it becomes saturated with blood. Once bleeding stops, you can gently swish water over the site. For some patients, we may also provide an antimicrobial mouth rinse. When cleaning surrounding teeth, take special care to avoid irritating the extraction site.
Take antibiotics, pain relievers, and other medications as directed while you heal. If you have questions about your medications, contact our team.
Make sure you get plenty of rest, especially in the first few days after treatment. During deep sleep, the body heals more quickly, so taking a little extra time to rest can mean shorter overall healing time.