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Gosford Family Dentists

What you need to know about tooth extractions

Your natural teeth are so strong, they can last a lifetime with good dental care. In fact, the enamel on your teeth is stronger than bone. But as strong as they are, damaged teeth can’t heal on their own.

If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort and believe that you need a tooth extraction, our team will first examine your mouth to check if a filling or dental crown will suffice. If the tooth (or teeth) is too damaged to save, either due to decay or injury, we will recommend a tooth extraction. While it may seem like an extreme measure, tooth extractions are a simple and common dental procedure. We’ll get you in and out of the dentist’s chair before you know it.

When might I need a tooth extraction?

Whilst severe tooth decay is the most common reason for tooth extraction, there are some other reasons why your dentist may recommend the procedure, including when:

  • Decay has severely damaged the enamel of your tooth
  • An abscess has formed and a root canal is not an option
  • Extra teeth are stopping your adult teeth from surfacing through your gums
  • Your wisdom teeth have partially erupted and have caused irritation, pain, and swelling
  • You have severely broken, cracked, or fractured teeth as a result of an injury.

What does the procedure involve?

Before the procedure, your dentist will first review your medical and dental history. We’ll take x-rays to determine the best extraction method and, depending on your circumstance, we will follow one of two procedures to remove your tooth.

Procedure one: Simple tooth extraction

Simple tooth extractions involve removing visible teeth in a single piece. First, we numb the area around the tooth using a local anesthetic so you won’t feel any pain or discomfort. We then loosen the tooth using an elevator and remove it with dental forceps.

Procedure two: Surgical tooth extraction

If your tooth has broken with the root intact or, more commonly, your wisdom tooth hasn’t erupted properly through your gums, we will recommend a surgical extraction. As a more complex procedure, you can choose to have an intravenous (IV) anesthetic to help relieve any anxiety. During a surgical extraction, we may need to divide your tooth into smaller pieces for easier removal.

You will feel pressure in your mouth during both procedures, however, the anesthetic will relieve any immediate pain. Regardless of the type of extraction you need, our team will support you through the procedure to ensure you’re comfortable and relaxed.

What should I do after having a tooth extracted?

After the tooth extracation procedure, we’ll see you for a follow-up appointment so your dentist can check how you’re healing. We’ll also provide you with care instructions to ensure your mouth heals quickly. It’s important to:

  • Avoid touching the bare socket with your fingers or tongue
  • Avoid rinsing your mouth or spitting for 24 hours
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water and ½ teaspoon of salt after 24 hours
  • Be careful not to brush over the bare socket for 72 hours
  • Eat soft, healthy foods and drink plenty of water
  • Refrain from smoking to allow your mouth time to heal quicker.

Talk to Gosford Family Dentist

If you think you might need a tooth extraction, contact our friendly team at Gosford Family Dentist. After an initial consultation, our dentists will make the best recommendation for the sake of your overall health. Enquire here.

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