Tooth extractions are dental procedures that are performed when one or more teeth are unable to be restored using dental restorative treatments. When a tooth cannot be safely restored, it threatens the overall oral health of an individual and, therefore, must be removed. In removing the affected tooth, the threat is eradicated and replacement options for missing teeth can be used to restore the smile. It is important to note that extractions are only performed in cases where there are no other options available.
After a tooth is extracted, the first step of the healing process is the development of a blood clot over the extraction site. This clot protects the underlying bones and nerves while the extraction heals and eventually acts as the foundation for new bone and tissue growth. If a clot does not form or if it becomes dislodged, then it is known as a dry socket.
A tooth extraction may be the best choice for you if you have one or more teeth that are severely damaged or decayed and cannot be restored with modern restoration methods. Additionally, an extraction may be right for you if you have impacted wisdom teeth or if you are having certain types of dental restorations placed, such as dental implants. To determine if a tooth extraction is necessary, schedule a consultation with Dr. Alina Huang DDS at your Midtown Manhattan dental office today.
When having a tooth extraction, you can expect to either have a simple or surgical extraction. A simple extraction is used in cases where the entire tooth is erupted, or visible from above the gum line. During a simple extraction, forceps and an elevator tool are used to remove the tooth. With a surgical extraction, however, there is a small incision made in the gum line in order to access the affected tooth. At this point, the tooth is fragmented into smaller pieces before it is removed one piece at a time. Regardless of the type of procedure you’re undergoing, you will be properly sedated and anesthetized throughout the entire procedure.
After a tooth extraction, you can expect to have gauze packed over the extraction site to minimize any bleeding. If you had a surgical extraction, you may also have stitches in your gums. It is important to try and avoid touching the extraction site with your fingers or tongue to prevent infection or dislodging of the protective clot over the extraction site.
Before you leave your dentist’s office, your dentist will provide you with postoperative guidelines to follow during your recovery period. These guidelines will have instructions on how to keep the extraction site clean, how to manage any pain and swelling, and what to eat until the extraction site heals. As long as you follow these guidelines, you can expect your extraction site to heal in about two weeks.
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