At our dental practice we are strong believers of saving your natural teeth for as long as possible. We only extract teeth as a last resort and will always try and save your teeth.
In some instances, a tooth may be too far decayed that we are unable to save and this is when we would look at extracting the teeth. Preventative dentistry is an important stance to take when looking after your teeth. By following a pro-active approach to cleaning your teeth on a regular basis you will be in control of protecting your teeth for longer. By also visiting your dentist and attending dental hygiene sessions, will further increase the chances of protecting your teeth for longer. The dental check up will help us to examine your mouth thoroughly and spot any early dental complications that may be developing. Early detection can mean the difference between a saved tooth, and an extracted one.
Likewise with the dental hygiene visits, the main benefit by attending these appointments is so we can give your teeth a thorough clean and tackle any tough build ups of plaque and tartar (which attack our teeth). Good oral hygiene is paramount for the longevity of our teeth. We will also educate our patients on best practices when cleaning their teeth so they can be in complete control of saving their teeth when they are at home.
What Happens If My Tooth Can’t Be Saved?
In these instances, we will have to extract the tooth. Before hand we will discuss the tooth replacement options so you are able to decide which option suits you best for aftercare.
How Is a Tooth Extracted?
The first step is to prepare for the extraction. It’s important you fill out your medical history with all the correct information (including over the counter medication). An x-ray of the area will be taken, and in the cases of wisdom tooth removal, a panoramic x-ray may be taken.
We will carefully numb the area surrounding the tooth to be extracted and we will use an elevator (dental tool) to loosen the tooth, and then remove with forceps. We will always work at a slow pace to suit our patient and we will explain what we are doing so you are comfortable and happy. We have treated many nervous patients and encourage you to let us know if you are a bit worried about your treatment.
A panoramic x-ray is useful to take for wisdom teeth removal, as it will show all of your teeth and other useful information to guide us in the extraction:
- Relationship between the wisdom tooth and surrounding teeth
- Where your sinuses are in relations to the upper teeth
- Where the nerve is in the lower jaw (controlling the feeling for your lower jaw, teeth, lip and chin)
- If there are an infections, bone disease or tumours that may be present
Depending on your own exact situation, you may be prescribed anti-biotics before or after the treatment (if an infection was present, you have a weakened immune system, your medical history dictates it is necessary etc)
Post-operative instructions will be given after your treatment is completed. It is to be expected there will be some discomfort around the site of the extraction afterwards. We will place a gauze over the extraction site for you to bite down on. This pressure will help the site to clot up. There will be some blood for around 24 hours after the procedure, but this will taper off. Try not to disturb the area with your tongue as this can prolong the healing.
It is recommended to have a softer diet until you feel completely comfortable eating. Also colder foods will be recommended as well.
To help keep the extraction site clean, you can rinse warm salt water in your mouth. This will help kill bacteria from the mouth and aid the healing of this site.
For 72 hours after the treatment, do not smoke, as this can cause the blood clot to open. Also, do not use a straw or spit as these actions can also cause the wound to reopen.
Tooth Replacement Options
We are able to offer a variety of different options to replace missing teeth and we will be happy to discuss this in more detail with you:
- Dental crowns
- Dental bridges
- Dental implants (available at our sister practice)
- Partial/Complete dentures
It important before you have an extraction that you consider your options. Having a missing tooth will make an immediate noticeable effect on the aesthetics of your smile (depending where the tooth was). It will also have an impact on the functionality of your teeth when you are eating. The more missing teeth you have, the harder your jaw and gums will have to work to chew up the food, so you’re able to easily swallow it. Over time this can lead to sore gums and in more severe cases, TMD problems (from over working the associated muscle groups).
Book Your Dental Assessment Today
If you are worried that you have a tooth that may need extracting, or you haven’t had your teeth checked in a while, please do not hesitate to call us and book your dental assessment today.