Extractions

Dr. Finley may determine that you need a tooth extracted  for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.

The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.

To avoid these complications, Dr. Finley will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.

The Extraction Process

At the time of extraction the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic.

During the extraction process you will feel some pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal.

You feel the pressure WITHOUT PAIN as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain, yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected.

If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction please let us know right away.

Sectioning a tooth

Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.

After Extraction Home Care

Bleeding

Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down with moderate pressure for 45 minutes can control this.  You may change gauze packs if necessary.  We will provide you with extras.  Also, biting on a WET teabag can help to stop the bleeding.  There is a chemical in tea that helps the blood clot to form, which must happen for normal healing to occur.

Blood clots that form in the empty socket.

This is an important part of the healing process and you must be careful not to dislodge the clot.

  • Avoid aggressive rinsing for 24 hours after the extraction.
  • Avoid use of a straw, smoking or hot liquids for 3 days afterward.
  • Avoid eating foods that do not dissolve quickly, such as nuts, seeds and popcorn.

Swelling

If swelling occurs you can place ice on your face for 20 minutes and off for 20 minutes. Keep your head elivated and repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours.  After you see the swelling going away, you can use heating pads to accelerate healing.

Pain and Medications

If you experience pain you may use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.  But, follow the directions on the bottles to avoid damage to your liver and kidneys.

Eating

For most extractions just make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours. A soft diet may be recommended for 24 hours.

Brushing and Cleaning

After the extraction avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. After that you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the site. Beginning 24 hours after the extraction you can rinse with salt water (1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water) after meals and before bed.

Dry Socket

Dry socket occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged, and the healing is significantly delayed.

Following the post extraction instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain, which doesn’t usually appear until two to four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry sockets may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry and may have a dark discoloration.  Smoking may contribute to the development of a dry socket, so try to limit this activity before and after your appointment.

Dr. Finley will need to treat the area to allow for more rapid healing.

Healing

After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. However, after 3-4 weeks you should no longer experience any significant problems.