Oral Surgery

Tooth Extractions

One of the goals here at Gentle Dental is to preserve your natural teeth and keep them healthy for as long as possible. However, there are certain instances when it is in your best interest to have a tooth extracted. 

It may benefit your overall oral health to extract a tooth when it has been severely damaged by trauma or decay, you may have a cracked tooth requiring extraction, or your wisdom teeth may be too crowded. Whatever the reason, surgical tooth extraction is more often than not a very routine procedure. 

Tooth Removal Process

The first step in any extraction is a radiographic (x-ray) examination to assess the position of the roots of the tooth and the condition of the surrounding bone. This will allow any possible complications to be anticipated. A thorough medical and drug history is taken, to ensure that you are healthy enough to undergo the procedure, and your options for anesthesia will be discussed.

How straightforward this minor surgery is will depend on where the tooth to be extracted is located in the mouth and what its roots are like. 

For example, a front tooth with a single straight root is easier to remove than a molar with multiple roots. This is especially true when that molar is a wisdom tooth that is impacted, meaning it is below the surface of the bone and tissue.

Advances in Modern Dentistry

Tooth extraction is nothing to be feared when done by an experienced hand. Modern medicine allows tooth extraction to be a painless procedure. 

Additionally, bone grafting with PRF gives us the opportunity to preserve your bone levels and keep your options open post extraction. Bone grafting works by drawing some of your blood and extracting the white blood cells. The resulting material speeds recovery times, minimizes post-extraction discomfort and improves success rates for implants.

Tooth extraction is usually carried out with local anesthesia, which will numb the teeth to be removed and the surrounding bone and gum tissues. 

Additional sedatives might also be used, including oral sedatives (taken in pill form), nitrous oxide (which is inhaled), and/or conscious sedation, which is given intravenously (into a vein). The latter is usually required for more complicated (or multiple) tooth extractions. By the time the sedation medication has worn off, you won't even be aware that the surgery was done.

Aftercare for Tooth Extraction

Immediately after your tooth is extracted, the socket will be covered with sterile gauze, and gentle pressure will be applied for 20-30 minutes to control any bleeding. Small sutures (stitches) might also be used for this purpose. 

It's normal to experience some mild to moderate post-operative discomfort and/or swelling. Taking non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and/or aspirin the day of surgery should control most symptoms. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to ensure infection-free healing. Using ice packs on the outside of your jaw, and eating softer foods until you feel more comfortable can also be helpful. Within a few days, all should be back to normal.

Wisdom Teeth Extractions

It is well known that the dentist will typically extract wisdom teeth, but why? 

It is believed that over time the human diet has changed. Our food is now cooked and many of the meals we eat are much softer. This has led to humans developing a smaller jaw more adept to speech and less geared to eating hard, chewy foods.  

With this change, 3rd molars or “wisdom teeth” are not needed and can cause problems. A common problem is wisdom teeth causing crowding. When wisdom teeth erupt into a mouth with no space, it can cause malocclusion that can lead to increased wear on our other teeth.  

Erupting 3rd molars can also lead to increased plaque accumulation which can cause decay.  

Not every mouth is the same, and some mouths actually cater to 3rd molars well. It is important to check with the dentist to monitor your third molars to avoid any unwanted effects from wisdom teeth.  Schedule your wisdom teeth consultation in Soldotna today.



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