Tooth Extractions Seattle WA
You and Dr. Lewis may determine that you need a tooth removed for any number of reasons. Some teeth are removed 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, in most cases, Dr. Lewis will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement of the extracted tooth.
The Extraction Process
At the time of removal, Dr. Lewis will need to numb your tooth, jaw bone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic.
During the process you will feel pressure. This is from the process of firmly pushing the tooth in order to remove it.
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 painless procedure is very common and done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is severely curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. Dr. Lewis simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.
After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the natural healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times. In the unlikely event the bleeding continues, place a wet tea bag over the extraction site and firmly bite down for approximately 5 minutes. The tanic acid in any brand or flavor of tea is a great vasoconstrictor (tightens blood vessels). As a precaution, please sleep on an old pillow or use several old towels over your pillow to catch any blood-tinged saliva that may sneak out during the night.
After the blood clot forms, do not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol, drink any carbonated beverage, or brush the teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next two weeks, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.
Use pain medication as directed. Call our office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
It is important to resume your normal dental routine within 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth (away from the surgical site) at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
After a few days you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities (except vigorous exercise). If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling after 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.