Dealing with a tooth extraction in Ballantyne, NC, can seem a little nerve-wracking and intimidating. However, most people don’t know that tooth extractions are actually a fairly standard dental procedure that can preserve your oral health and overall well-being.
Our dentists, Dr. Aten and Dr. Garofalo, created this article to discuss everything you need to know about getting a tooth extraction. They’ve also provided a few helpful tips on how you can overcome dental anxiety and prepare for a tooth extraction procedure.
What Is a Tooth Extraction?
A tooth extraction, also known as dental extraction or “pulling” a tooth, is a procedure that completely removes a tooth from its socket in the bone under the gums. It can be a very delicate procedure, which is why it should only be done by experienced dental professionals who are well-versed in tooth extractions.
Tooth Extraction Procedures
There are two types of dental extraction procedures that dentists use to remove a tooth: surgical extractions and simple extractions.
This type of tooth extraction procedure is typically used to remove a damaged tooth that is visible in your mouth. During a simple extraction procedure, your Ballantyne dentist will numb your gum and tooth tissues with a local anesthetic, loosen your tooth with an elevator, and then remove your tooth with dental forceps.
This type of dental extraction is more complex, and it is typically used to remove a tooth that has not emerged yet or has broken off at the gum line. During this procedure, your dentist will make a small incision into your gums to remove the underlying tooth. Afterwards, they will place stitches into the affected area to promote faster healing.
When Is a Tooth Extraction Necessary?
Our priority at Aten & Garofalo Dentistry is to save, repair, and restore your natural teeth. However, removing permanent teeth is sometimes unavoidable, even though they’re meant to last a lifetime.
A dental extraction may be necessary if your tooth has been damaged beyond repair. Some of the reasons we may recommend this procedure include:
- A severe cavity or tooth decay
- Gum disease that damages or loosens teeth
- A necessary wisdom tooth or an impacted tooth removal
- Tooth injury from trauma
- A fractured tooth
- Poorly positioned or overcrowded teeth
- A dental abscess (a deep infection inside the tooth)
Benefits of Getting a Tooth Extraction
The most important benefit of getting a tooth extraction is the elimination of harmful bacteria that can damage your teeth and gums. Leaving a damaged or decayed tooth untreated can lead to a domino effect of problems and wreak havoc on your smile.
Pulling the affected tooth gives you the best chance at preserving your oral health. Furthermore, the procedure can provide immediate relief from pain – especially if your tooth is severely infected or broken.
Are There Any Risks or Side Effects Associated With Pulling a Tooth?
Like any surgical procedure, removing a tooth has side effects and can lead to complications in rare cases. Your dentist will only recommend this procedure when its benefits likely outweigh the small chance of complications.
Some of the risks associated with pulling a tooth include:
- Delayed healing
- Maxillary sinus perforation
- Nerve injury
- Dry socket
- Post-surgical infection
That’s why we recommend choosing an experienced professional like Dr. Aten or Dr. Garofalo for your dental extraction. Experienced dental professionals know how to avoid these risks and efficiently manage any complications that may arise.
After your procedure, it’s important to monitor your mouth for any unwanted side effects. The side effects you should look out for include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Prolonged discomfort
You should contact your dentist immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. Your dentist will guide you on how to successfully manage these symptoms and quicken your healing.
What to Expect With a Dental Extraction and How to Care for Your Oral Health
You will naturally experience changes in your mouth during and after the procedure. Below, we will discuss what to expect, how to prevent complications, how to promote faster healing, and ways you can keep you comfortable while you recover.
What to Expect Before the Procedure
Before your procedure, your Ballantyne dentist will take an X-ray of your mouth and teeth before scheduling your oral surgery. During this time, it’s important to inform your dentist about your medical history and the medications you take, including over-the-counter drugs, supplements, and vitamins.
Bacteria can gain entrance into the bloodstream during a dental extraction procedure. Therefore, you need to let your dentist know if you have any conditions that can make you susceptible to infection.
These conditions include:
- A weakened immune system
- Liver disease
- Heart disease
- Thyroid disease
- A recent surgery, including joint and bone procedures involving metal hardware and heart surgery
What to Expect During the Procedure
You might be wondering how painful a tooth extraction procedure really is. However, the truth is: you won’t feel any pain because the procedure is absolutely painless thanks to anesthesia and sedation dentistry.
Before we begin, we will numb your teeth and gums with anesthesia and may also sedate you so you feel relaxed during the extraction process.
Depending on the condition of your tooth, we will use a simple or surgical extraction procedure to remove the tooth.
What to Expect After the Procedure
Once your tooth is removed, the socket (extraction site) will be cleaned and disinfected. Your dentist will then place a piece of gauze into the socket and ask you to bite down on it to reduce bleeding so a blood clot can form.
If the blood clot dislodges or refuses to form, it can lead to a painful condition known as a “dry socket,” where the bone inside the socket becomes exposed. If you experience this issue, your dentist will place a sedative dressing over the area to protect it as a new clot forms.
Your cheek and lips may be numb after the procedure. However, there’s no need to worry. The numbness will wear off in a few hours. In addition, you may begin to feel discomfort as the numbing medication wears off. You will be given pain relievers and antibiotics to manage the discomfort.
Tooth Pulling Aftercare
You can follow the tips below to care for your mouth and speed up recovery:
- Take any pain relievers and antibiotics prescribed by the dentist
- Apply a cold compress to your cheek for 10 to 20 minutes at a time to reduce pain and swelling
- Rest, relax, and avoid strenuous physical activities (like exercise) for at least 2 days after the procedure
- Quit smoking since it can delay healing
- Do not disturb the extraction site with your tongue or suck on it
When drinking or eating, you should:
- Eat soft, nutritious foods like bananas, avocados, eggs, soup, mashed potatoes, and yogurt until your wound heals
- Drink plenty of water and avoid crunchy and hard food for a week
- Avoid alcoholic beverages and hot liquids for 24 hours after the procedure
- Chew foods with the other side of your mouth and not with the area near the extraction site
- Avoid drinking from a straw for at least 24 hours since it can disturb and dislodge the blood clot in the extraction area and lead to pain and bleeding (also known as a dry socket)
- Slowly reintroduce solid foods into your diet as you heal or feel comfortable chewing
As you care for your mouth, you should:
- Avoid cleaning the area next to the extraction site for at least 24 hours
- Brush and floss your other teeth gently the day after your tooth extraction procedure
- Brush your tongue to remove the unpleasant taste and bad breath that are both common after a tooth extraction
- Rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water to remove bits of food from the extraction site
- Avoid rinsing too hard, as it could loosen the blood clot
- Discuss with your dentist if you should rinse with salt and water, especially if you have high blood pressure
- Do not use mouthwash during the healing period until your dentist tells you that you can
After you heal, you should follow up by:
- Adhering to the instructions provided by your dentist
- Visiting your Ballantyne dentist for regular dental checkups and cleanings
- See your dentist immediately if you experience excessive bleeding, dry socket, or signs of an infection, such as pain, fever, drainage, or pus from the incision. Click here for more tips on how to care for your mouth after a tooth extraction procedure.
How Long Does It Take to Recover After a Tooth Extraction?
Recovering from a tooth extraction depends on the complexity of the type of procedure that you need. While you will likely be able to return to your daily routine within 48 to 72 hours, your jawbone will usually take several weeks to heal completely. Therefore, if you plan to replace your tooth with a dental implant, you may have to wait for a few weeks until you fully recover.
We Offer the Best and Most Affordable Tooth Extraction in Ballantyne, NC
Do you need to extract your tooth to improve your smile and prevent tooth decay or an infection from affecting your immune system? We can help!
At Aten & Garofalo Dentistry, we offer the most affordable and pain-free tooth extraction in Ballantyne, NC, to preserve your smile and overall health. Our team of dental experts, spearheaded by Dr. Aten and Dr. Garofalo, caters to the unique needs of every patient with a personalized approach that allows us to provide the most accurate dental treatments.
We also offer comprehensive dental services to protect your oral health, brighten your smile and boost your confidence. Schedule an appointment with us today to learn more about the status of your oral health!