A tooth extraction is performed for positional, structural, or economic reasons. Teeth are often removed because they are impacted. Teeth become impacted when they are prevented from growing into their normal position in the mouth by gum tissue, bone, or other teeth. Impaction is a common reason for the extraction of wisdom teeth. Extraction is the only known method that will prevent further problems. Teeth may also be extracted to make more room in the mouth prior to straightening the remaining teeth (orthodontic treatment), or because they are so badly positioned that straightening is impossible. Extraction may be used to remove teeth that are so badly decayed or broken that they cannot be restored. In addition, patients sometimes choose extraction as a less expensive alternative to a tooth filling or placing a dental crown on a severely decayed tooth. Extractions can be performed with the Waterlase Laser. Our office also offers IV Sedation administered by Dr. Suzanne Yu.
Before an extraction, Dr. Doris Giraldo will take your medical history, noting allergies and prescription medications. A dental history is also taken, with particular attention to previous extractions and reactions to anesthetics. She may then prescribe antibiotics or recommend stopping certain medications prior to the extraction. The tooth is X-rayed to determine its full shape and position, especially if it is impacted.
If the patient is going to have deep anesthesia, he or she should wear loose clothing with sleeves that are easily rolled up to allow for an intravenous line. The patient should not eat or drink anything for at least six hours before the procedure. Arrangements should be made for a friend or relative to drive the patient home after the surgery.
Our office offers IV Sedation administered by Dr. Suzanne Yu and extractions can be performed with the WaterLase Laser.
An important aspect of aftercare is encouraging a clot to form at the extraction site. The patient should put pressure on the area by biting gently on a roll or wad of gauze for several hours after surgery. Once the clot is formed, it should not be disturbed. The patient should not rinse, spit, drink with a straw, or smoke for at least 24 hours after the extraction and preferably longer. Vigorous exercise should not be done for the first three to five days.
For the first two days after the procedure, the patient should drink liquids without using a straw, and eat soft foods. Any chewing must be done on the side away from the extraction site. Hard or sticky foods should be avoided. The mouth may be gently cleaned with a toothbrush, but the extraction area should not be scrubbed.
Wrapped ice packs can be applied to reduce facial swelling. Swelling is a normal part of the healing process. It is most noticeable in the first 48 to 72 hours. As the swelling subsides, the patient may experience muscle stiffness. Moist heat and gentle exercise will restore jaw movement. Dr. Giraldo may prescribe medications to relieve the postoperative pain. Contact us to schedule an appointment or for more information.