About Tooth Extractions
No one likes to have a tooth extracted, but sometimes removing a tooth is the best course of action. At City Smiles DC, we will perform a thorough examination of your teeth before recommending a tooth (or teeth) removal, especially in a painful, emergency situation. Washington, DC, board-certified general dentist, Dr. Stuart Ross, can perform simple or surgical extractions in his office with several sedation techniques based on your needs. In the event you or your child need to have an impacted tooth (or wisdom teeth) removed, Dr. Ross can also perform this procedure as well. Schedule a consultation for you or your child with Dr. Ross at your earliest convenience.
With a simple extraction, the dentist will give the patient a local anesthetic to alleviate any pain. The dentist will use a pair of forceps to grip the impacted tooth and loosen it from the jawbones and the ligaments which hold it in place. The socket that holds the tooth must be widened and enlarged to separate the tooth from the ligaments. A device called a dental elevator, a screwdriver-like tool, is placed between the tooth and gum to make it easier to remove the tooth by expanding the socket.
Wisdom teeth or any teeth not visible above the gum line, such as severely broken teeth or teeth with long, curved roots require a more complex surgical extraction. Anesthesia is often used on the patient prior to procedure. To obtain access to the impacted tooth, the dentist may need to cut through bone, gums, and tissue. Sometimes, the dentist will need to cut the tooth in pieces in order to fully remove it.
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What to Expect
Depending on whether the dentist performs a simple or surgical tooth extraction, the technique and experience will differ. In either case, there will be a thorough examination prior to extraction when X-rays will be taken to determine the type of extraction needed. In addition, the patient is usually offered a form of sedation to help the patient feel comfortable and at ease during the procedure. It’s advised that the patient not eat or drink anything for 6 – 8 hours before the surgery. If a patient experiences nausea or vomiting before the extraction, they will need to call the dentist’s office to possibly reschedule to avoid health complications. Smoking on the day of surgery is prohibited because of the risks and complications it can pose in the healing process.
After either type of extraction, a blood clot will usually form in the socket of the removed tooth. After a simple extraction, the dentist will pack the area with gauze and have the patient bite down in order to stop bleeding. With surgical extraction, the dentist will stitch the area and then place the gauze pads. After extraction, the patient should refrain from unnecessary eating, drinking, or talking for at least 2 hours. After the bleeding has stopped, the patient should drink plenty of cold or lukewarm fluids.
On the first day after the extraction, only soft foods should be eaten and the patient shouldn’t brush or rinse their teeth for 12 hours following the extraction. When brushing is resumed, the extraction area should be avoided with the toothbrush, but the area can be gently rinsed with salt water. The patient also shouldn’t spit forcefully, which may dislodge the blood clot. The healing process usually starts about 1 – 2 weeks following the tooth extraction. This is the time when new gum tissue and bone will fill in the gap where the tooth or teeth have been removed. After about 3 – 4 weeks, the gums should be fully healed. Complete healing of the entire mouth can take up to 6 months, but it varies from person to person.
There are several factors that determine how much a tooth extraction will cost, such as the type of extraction, the difficulty of removing the tooth, and how many teeth will be extracted. During the patient’s consultation, the dentist will provide a breakdown of pricing. Our front office can also check with the patient’s insurance carrier since many dental insurance plans will pay a percentage of the cost, if the surgery is a medical necessity.
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Want to Know More?
If you think that you could benefit from a tooth extraction, we would be more than happy to assist you. Give our friendly staff a call today at City Smiles DC, so we can schedule your consultation immediately. During your consultation, the dentist can give you all of the information you need about tooth extraction to help you make an informed decision.