Tooth extraction is the removal of an ailing tooth from your mouth. A dentist or a dental specialist performs the outpatient procedure. Tooth removal may be necessary for a variety of reasons. The dentist may decide to pull out a tooth if it is infected or has excessive decay. Tooth extraction may also be necessary if you require braces to align your teeth. The dentist extracts one or two teeth to create space for the other teeth. The specialist may also need to pull out any compromised tooth if you are to undergo chemotherapy or organ transplant. The procedure is necessary since a compromised tooth may lead to infections and other oral and dental complications. The specialist may also recommend the procedure if your tooth is severely damaged or fractured. Sometimes, the wisdom teeth remain below the surface or do not emerge in the correct position, which might also necessitate its extraction.

Tooth extraction is a sensitive procedure. As such, you should visit an experienced dentist if you or your loved one need to have your tooth extracted. At The Whittier Dentist, we pride ourselves on going the extra mile always. We ensure you feel safe during the entire procedure. Our team is highly qualified and has years of experience diagnosing and treating a myriad of dental ailments including tooth extraction. Therefore, do not hesitate to contact us If you or your loved one is in Whittier and need tooth extraction treatment. We are always happy to help!

Circumstances Under Which Tooth Extraction May Be Necessary

Tooth extraction is the complete removal of your tooth from its socket. Although your dentist may desire to preserve your natural teeth as much as possible, sometimes a tooth extraction is the only viable treatment option. The procedure may be necessary to preserve or improve your general dental hygiene. Below are some of the reasons why your dentist may prefer to perform the procedure:

  • Severe Decay Or Cavities

Tooth cavities are holes that develop in your teeth. Cavities are caused by acids that erode your tooth’s hard outer covering called enamel. Once the enamel is eroded, the hole becomes bigger, and your tooth’s inner covering, known as the dentin, becomes affected too. If the cavity continues to develop, the innermost part of your tooth, known as the pulp, becomes exposed, leading to infection and pain. You can prevent cavities by practicing proper dental hygiene, including regular brushing your teeth, flossing, and constant visits to your dentist. However, tooth extraction may be the only treatment option if the cavity is well advanced.

  • Your Tooth Is Excessively Fractured

Your tooth can fracture or break due to a blunt force to the teeth. You may break your teeth after a fall, when playing, or if someone hits you in the mouth. You may also fracture your tooth due to grinding, aging, and other related factors. A fracture is treatable under certain circumstances. However, the severity and location of the fracture may make extraction the only viable treatment option.

  • If You Are Suffering From Severe Gum Disease

Signs of gum disease include swollen or bleeding gums, pain, sensitivity, and other similar symptoms. Thanks to the food and drinks you consume, your mouth has numerous bacteria. If you do not brush your teeth well, the bacteria may form a thin covering over your teeth known as plaque. The plaque hardens into tartar which may lead to gum disease. Therefore, your dentist may recommend tooth extractions as the only solution to treat gum disease, especially if the condition is severe.

  • Crowded Teeth

Sometimes your teeth may be crowded, so it becomes impossible to align properly. Therefore, the dentist may need to pull out one or two teeth to create room for the other teeth. Extraction may also be the only option if one or two of your teeth are bigger than the rest. Your dentist may extract the adjacent tooth to create room for the larger teeth if your jaw is not big enough to accommodate the teeth. The dentist may also extract one or more teeth in preparation for placing braces.

Who Performs Tooth Extraction

Dental professionals, including general dentists, maxillofacial, and periodontists, perform tooth extraction procedures. However, general dentists perform most of the extractions. Should the situation be more complex, your dentist may refer you to either a maxillofacial surgeon or a periodontist. An oral surgeon performs the procedure when the tooth needs to be removed through surgery. A periodontist can also extract your tooth if they need to do so to treat your jaw and other teeth supporting structures.

How Should You Prepare For The Procedure?

You should wear a short-sleeved shirt or blouse if your dentist uses intravenous anesthesia. A short-sleeved shirt or loose clothing will make it easier for the dentist to administer the anesthesia. It would be best not to drink or eat anything for six to eight hours, especially if the dentist will administer general anesthesia. You should also not smoke. You can reschedule if you have a cold or other similar illness that may affect the procedure. You should have a colleague or friend who will drive you back home since you may not be coherent enough to drive after the procedure.

What Happens Before The Procedure?

Before the dentist commences with the procedure, they will assess the ailing tooth. Your dentist will perform a physical examination of the tooth and use X-rays to determine the extent of the damage. It is critical to inform your dentist beforehand of any medication, supplements, or vitamins you are using. You should also inform your dentist if you have a scheduled treatment shortly. Inform your dentist if you suffer from any medical conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, liver or kidney disease, renal disease, a heart condition, or any other similar condition. Once you have disclosed this information and your dentist determines the extent of the damage, they will discuss the treatment details with you and answer any questions. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics before the treatment day to prevent infections, especially if you have a weak immune system.

How Much Does A Tooth Extraction Cost?

Tooth extraction cost depends on a few factors. The cost depends mainly on the type of extraction. A simple extraction costs between $75 to $200 per tooth. The cost will also depend on the dentist and the locality. The type of anesthesia the dentist uses will also affect the cost. It will cost more if you need general anesthesia compared to local anesthesia.

If you need surgery to extract the tooth, the cost increases significantly. The procedure will cost you between $800 to $4,000, depending on the complexity of the operation. The dental practice location will also affect the cost of the operation. Dentists in particular locations charge higher than dentists in another geographical location, depending on the cost of living in that area.

Types Of Tooth Extractions

  • Simple Extraction

If the procedure is a normal extraction, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth using local anesthesia. Thanks to the local anesthesia, you will only feel pressure and not pain during the extraction procedure. After the sedative takes effect, your dentist uses a special tool called an elevator to loosen the tooth from the socket. After the tooth loosens, the dentist uses another specialized tool called forceps to remove the tooth from its socket. The dentist usually performs simple extraction on your decayed, fractured, or broken tooth. If you are anxious about the procedure, you can request your dentist to use anti-anxiety medication. The specialist will recommend over-the-counter medication to help in the recovery process.

  • Surgical Extraction

If your case is complicated, your dentist will recommend surgical extraction, where they will administer local and general anesthesia. The anesthesia will induce unconsciousness during the procedure. The specialist will make a small incision into your gums. In most cases, your dentist will recommend surgical extraction if all or a part of your tooth is impacted. An impacted tooth has not emerged from the gum. The dentist will clean and disinfect the extraction site after the procedure to prevent gum infection. The dentist will also use sutures to fix your gum where they had to make an incision to pull out the tooth. Like normal extraction, you should follow your dentist's instructions to the letter to help in the recovery process.

Various Sedation Options Your Dentist Can Recommend

Your dentist can recommend sedation to make the procedure more comfortable. Below are the sedation options you may discuss with your dentist. Remember, the sedation method mainly depends on the complexity of the procedure.

  • Nitrous Oxide.

You may choose nitrous oxide as your preferred sedation option. The option is excellent if your case is not complicated and does not need deep-level sedation. Since the effects of the gas wear off fast, it is possible to drive yourself back home or work after the procedure.

  • Oral Sedation

If you are fidgety about needles, you may opt for oral sedation. Your dentist will administer oral sedatives, usually an hour before the operation. Some of the most common oral sedatives include triazolam, diazepam, midazolam, and similar drugs. The dentist can administer oral sedation or combine it with other sedative methods. If you undergo oral sedation, you will need a colleague or family member to drive you to and from your dental appointment.

  • You Can Choose Intravenous Sedation

Intravenous sedation is the highest form of sedation. Your dentist will recommend it if you have high anxiety levels or if the procedure is complicated and likely to take long. The dentist delivers the sedatives directly into your bloodstream using an IV. You will need a colleague or family member to drive you back home after the procedure.

Does The Tooth Extraction Have Any Risks?

Although the procedure is not highly risky, it has a few risks. However, the benefits of the procedure far outweigh the risks. After the extraction, a blood clot forms in the socket. The underlying bone will be exposed if the blood clot fails to form, leading to infection and further complications. A dry socket is when the blood clot does not form or breaks off too soon after the procedure. You may experience excessive pain if the blood clot breaks off. You should visit your dentist immediately. If the blood clot does not form or breaks off, your dentist will dress the wound until the blood clot protects the underlying gum forms.

Other risks include excessive swelling and bleeding, infection, and nausea. You may also experience a numb chin and lips, especially if the procedure was to extract your wisdom teeth. Your chin and lip become numb if a particular nerve was traumatized during the procedure. It is critical to contact your dentist should you experience these symptoms. However, it is normal to experience swelling, bleeding, and general discomfort for a few days after the procedure. You should contact your dentist immediately should any of these symptoms persist.

How Long Will It Take For You To Recover From The Procedure?

Your recovery process will depend on the complexity of the procedure. It should not take more than two to three days to recover if you undergo a simple extraction. However, it will take much longer for the gum to heal completely. It takes more time for the wound to heal if you undergo surgical extraction. You will have to wait for a few months if you want to replace the tooth with a dental implant at a later date. Below is a detailed outline of the general healing process after your tooth extraction.

  • The First Twenty-Four Hours After The Extraction

A blood clot will form at the extraction site in the first twenty-four hours. The blood clot is critical as it helps to seal the wound. You will experience some pain, tenderness, inflammation, and bleeding at this point. You should manage the pain and swelling at manageable levels using the recommended pain relievers. You should also let the first gauze stay in place until the bleeding stops or reduces substantially. However, you should contact your dentist should the pain or swelling persist for more than three days.

  • One To Two Days After The Extraction

The healing process occurs at a high rate during the first two days after the procedure. Therefore, you should take extra care during this period. At this stage, you may experience some slight bleeding and some pain level. It is critical to have plenty of rest at this stage. The bleeding stops or reduces substantially when the blood clot forms at the extraction site. You can change the gauze as much as necessary once the clot forms. Ensure you take your medication as instructed by your dentist. You should also elevate your head when sleeping.

  • Three Days After The Procedure

Your condition should be much better after three days. The pain and swelling will have substantially subsided. However, you will continue to observe certain dental hygiene protocols to aid in healing. Rinse your mouth gently with saline water to keep the extraction site free of bacteria and infections. Make sure you brush the other teeth but do not brush the extraction site, as doing so may irritate the wound and cause bleeding.

  • Seven Days After The Procedure

The blood clot should be firmly in place after seven days. At this time, the bleeding should have completely stopped, so you will no longer need the gauze. The dentist will remove the sutures if they have used non-dissolving stitches.

  • Two Weeks And Above After The Extraction

The extraction site will almost be completely healed at this stage. However, you should avoid irritating the extraction site by brushing too vigorously or chewing hard food. The wound should continue to heal well if you practice great oral hygiene and take your medication as instructed by your dentist. However, you should consult your dentist should you experience excessive pain, tenderness, inflammation, or bleeding at any stage of the healing process.

The Dental Care Protocol You Should Follow After The Tooth Extraction

Immediately after the dentist extracts the tooth, they may ask you to bite down on a gauze or cotton bud. The purpose of the gauze or cotton bud is to stop the bleeding. You should keep the gauze or cotton bud for at least thirty to forty minutes until the bleeding stops. Your dentist will inform you of what you should do to take care of the wound. Below are some of the dental care procedures the dentist may recommend.

  • Do Not Engage In Vigorous Activities

You should not engage in strenuous activity at least for the next three to four days. You should also not smoke, clean the extraction area, and rinse your mouth vigorously for the next twenty-four hours after the procedure. Your dentist will also prescribe or recommend drugs that will help heal. It is critical to take proper care of the wound.

  • Keep The Wound Clean

You should ensure you keep the wound clean to avoid an infection. You should rinse the area with a mild antibacterial mouthwash twice or thrice a day. Do not brush over the extraction site until your dentist gives you the go-ahead. The toothbrush bristles may irritate the wound, leading to bleeding and other complications. However, you should clean and floss the other teeth normally.

  • Use An Ice Bag To Reduce The Swelling

You should also place an ice bag on your cheek to reduce swelling. Avoid drinking any hot or cold drinks after the procedure as they may irritate the wound and cause pain. Do not use a straw to drink, as doing so will apply pressure on the wound, which may delay the healing process of dislodging the blood clot due to pressure. The discomfort and swelling should subside within three to fourteen days at most. However, you should visit your dentist immediately should the swelling or bleeding persist.

  • Make Sure You Take All The Medication As Instructed By The Dentist

Your dentist will prescribe or recommend drugs to help in the recovery. It is critical to complete the dosage. Your dentist will recommend a combination of painkillers and antibiotics. The pain relievers help with the pain, while the antibiotics prevent the infection of the wound. Some over-the-counter drugs you can take include ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen. It is critical to follow your dentist’s instructions to the letter if you are to make a full recovery.

  • Eat Soft Foods

You should eat soft foods for the next few days after the procedure. Avoid hard or crunchy food. You should eat foods like yogurts, rice, eggs, pasta, and similar foods that do not need hard chewing.

If you observe proper oral hygiene, take your medication as prescribed, and avoid hard foods, you should be back to your normal schedule within two to three days. However, if your job is physically demanding, you need to take a few more days off work. Involving yourself in strenuous work immediately after the procedure may lead to excessive bleeding since the blood flow increases.

What Are The Advantages Of Having Your Tooth Pulled?

Although you may prefer to retain your teeth, pulling a tooth out may have more advantages than keeping it in some cases. A tooth with a cavity may be very painful, and the pain only ceases once the dentist pulls out the tooth. The tooth with the cavity may be a breeding ground for more harmful bacteria, which may affect the other teeth. A damaged tooth, especially one with a cavity, may lead to smelly breath. Therefore, extracting the tooth will freshen your breath. An infected tooth may also lead to swelling and the infection of your gums. If gums become infected, they may bleed and become painful or swell. Therefore, it is better to extract the tooth.

When Should You Visit Your Dentist?

You should visit your dentist at least twice per year for a dental checkup. However, you should contact your dentist immediately if you develop a toothache or dental pain. Once you visit your dentist, they will observe the tooth and recommend the best treatment option. The specialist will discuss the procedure if they deem extraction as the best option. You will then schedule an appointment.

Call A Dentist Near Me

It is grievous news when your dentist determines you do not have another option but to pull the tooth. The dentist can perform a simple or surgical tooth extraction. The type of extraction depends on the condition of your tooth. You should make a full recovery two weeks after the procedure. However, you should practice exceptional oral hygiene during and after the recovery period. However, you should contact your dentist if the pain does not subside even with medication. If you develop any pus on the extraction site or an unusually high fever after the procedure. Fortunately, tooth extraction does not mean you have to live with a gap in your mouth. Your dentist can recommend other tooth replacement options, including dental implants, partial dentures, and similar options.

Do you or your loved one need tooth extraction treatment? At The Whittier Dentist, we offer top-notch dental treatment including tooth extraction. We have more than 20 years of experience. Do not hesitate to contact us if you or your loved one is in Whittier and needs tooth extraction treatment. You can reach us at 562-632-1223 any time of the day or night.