Tooth Extractions: Nothing to Fear

For many people a tooth extraction – or “having a tooth pulled” – might seem medieval and often scary. Some people can even feel shame associated with losing a tooth. In truth, tooth extraction is common among both children and adults, and is generally a very simple procedure causing relatively little pain.

Why do I need a tooth extraction?

There are several reasons why a tooth extraction might be needed. Sometimes a tooth can be too badly decayed, infected, or otherwise damaged to repair. In cases of extreme gum disease tooth removal may limit the spread of disease. In these cases, Dr. Brent Engelberg and Associates will discuss options with you for replacing the tooth and avoiding further complications.

A tooth can also be extracted because it is blocking the growth of other teeth. This is most common in children, when a stubborn baby tooth may block the eruption of a permanent tooth. Another common procedure, particularly among young adults, is wisdom tooth extraction, a procedure intended to avoid impaction or crowding of the teeth. In people with small mouths, tooth extraction can also prevent crowding.

What to Expect with a Tooth Extraction

In most cases tooth extraction is a simple procedure requiring only local anesthetic. If the idea of an extraction makes you nervous, AH Smiles offers optional sedation. The process is generally quick, and pulling the tooth should take only a few minutes. In some more complicated situations, your dentist may remove the tooth in pieces, and on some occasions removing some gum tissue may be necessary.

After your extraction, it is important to follow your dentist’s instructions for a swift recovery. Some bleeding is a normal part of the healing process. If necessary your dentist may place a few stitches, usually self-dissolving, at the site of the extraction. Some pain and/or swelling is also typical, and can be treated with a gentle pain killer and ice.

It is important to be careful with the area around the extraction immediately following your visit. Smoking, vigorous chewing, swishing, spitting, or brushing should all be avoided immediately following the procedure. It is also important to avoid using straws or sucking on items like candy in order to prevent the formation of a painful dry socket. The complete healing process for most extractions should take only a few weeks.

After your extraction, Dr. Engelberg and Associates will discuss tooth replacement options. Dental implants, bridges, and full or partial dentures are all options to stabilize the mouth and return your smile to its greatest potential.

Schedule an Appointment

Tooth extractions can sound scary, but in reality are a simple and effective treatment. To schedule your extraction, contact AH smiles at (847) 230-9703 or online.