2165 Fourth St. Ste B,
Livermore, CA 94550
When a tooth is too damaged to be repaired, and a healthy tooth structure is not present, an extraction is necessary to remove that tooth from the mouth. At Smiles by Design, decaying teeth is the most common reason for tooth extraction. Teeth decay when bacteria in the mouth mix with sugar or starch from food, producing acid that breaks down the tooth enamel and causes cavities. If enough damage occurs, the decayed part of the tooth must be removed to prevent an infection in the tooth pulp and surrounding gums.
Tooth decay and gum disease are common reasons teeth need to be removed, but there are several other reasons. Severely broken teeth and impacted wisdom teeth that don’t come in properly may require removal. Impacted teeth can cause pain, swelling, and even infection to other nearby teeth. Wisdom teeth are the final molars that erupt in the back corners of the mouth. Some people are born without wisdom teeth, while others end up with them despite the lack of space. This can cause misalignment in the jaw and other concerns like cavities and gum disease. If your wisdom teeth grow in correctly, they typically don’t cause problems. But some people experience impaction, in which the tooth grows at an angle that causes it to push against other teeth instead of growing straight up through the gum line. This can lead to painful pressure and a misaligned bite.
After receiving local anesthetic, your oral surgeon will gently scrape the tooth from below the gum line using a unique dental instrument called a dental elevator. Next, they will expand the socketed tooth with forceps and gently wiggle it back and forth until it dislodges from the jawbone. Sometimes, a few stitches may be necessary to help the wound heal and reduce the risk of infection or dry sockets. Patients should schedule a follow-up appointment with their dentist within the next few days after the extraction to ensure everything is okay.
Immediately following your procedure, you can expect pain and swell in the treated area. The level of discomfort will vary from patient to patient based on factors like age, history of periodontal disease, and overall health. Some patients will not experience any pain or swelling, though this is rare. Your dentist will likely prescribe a mouthwash or another type of rinse to help prevent infection and reduce bleeding after the treatment. You may also be prescribed an antibiotic a few days after extraction to avoid disease. Be sure to follow all instructions provided by your dentist carefully to ensure a smooth and successful recovery.