If you’ve been told you need a tooth extracted, don’t panic! The process is usually fast and easy. Extractions may be needed for several reasons. If a tooth has been decayed too badly to be saved, or shows signs of infection in the tissue beneath it, extraction and replacement is the usual treatment. Sometimes extractions are needed in preparation for planned orthodontic treatment. In some cases, extractions may be needed if a root canal fails and the tooth cannot be given another endodontic treatment.
Do you need an Auburn CA tooth extraction? Contact Maidu Dental for an appointment with Dr. Lumi Markham. Call (530) 823-8771 to schedule a visit.
If an extraction is planned for a tooth that is already erupted, we call that a simple extraction. If the extraction requires cutting into the gum tissue to get to the tooth, however, that requires oral surgery (surgical extraction). Before a tooth can be extracted, we always anesthetize patients, so they don’t feel any sensitivity during the procedure. For a simple extraction, this involves and injection of a local anesthetic to block the nerve. Once you are numb, we use a tool called an elevator to lift and loosen the tooth. You will feel some movement in the mouth, but it shouldn’t hurt. We gently wiggle the tooth back and forth until it can be gripped with a forceps and pulled out easily. The whole process takes only a few minutes, and many patients are surprised that it is over so quickly.
After Your Extraction
After your extraction, we will give you some gauze to bite down on, to stanch any bleeding. Extractions do not usually bleed profusely, so you may only need to bite down for a short period of time. It is important for the blood to clot in the socket after an extraction, so you should refrain from eating or creating any suction in the mouth afterwards. We will give you detailed oral and written instructions to follow to care for your extraction site, and you will have the chance to ask questions before you go home.
Most simple extractions do not cause a great deal of pain, but if you experience sensitivity after the anesthetic wears off, take over-the-counter painkillers, such as Advil or Tylenol. Do not exceed the recommended dosage, and feel free to call our office if you experience any severe pain or continued bleeding.
Replacing Your Tooth
If your extraction was planned to make room for orthodontia, you don’t need to replace the tooth—but most other single extractions should involve a plan for tooth replacement. If a lost tooth is not replaced, the adjacent teeth will slowly drift into the open space and upset your alignment. You will eventually experience changes to your bite, which can put undue stress on the teeth and make them more prone to cracking and eroding. Dysfunction of the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) can also result from losing a tooth, which can cause painful symptoms, such as facial pain, jaw pain, headaches, and teeth grinding (bruxism).
So how do you replace an extracted tooth? There are two options. The traditional approach is a dental bridge, which attaches to the two teeth next to the gap. This prosthetic gives you back a tooth to complete your smile, as well as a replacement chewing surface. It also stabilizes the teeth, so your bite alignment will not shift.
A more modern approach to tooth replacement is with an implant and crown. Dental implants are more life-like than bridges, because they replace the whole tooth, root and crown. Surgical procedures are required to place dental implants, but once healed, they usually last a lifetime and are indistinguishable from natural teeth.
To learn more about tooth extraction, Auburn CA and tooth replacement, visit Maidu Dental. Dr. Lumi Markham will help you understand the specifics of your situation and what to expect if you need a tooth extracted. Call us today at (530) 823-8771 to set up an appointment.