LastAt Bethesda Family Smiles, we are here to help you maintain your smile aesthetics and improve your dental health with expert general dentistry. Sometimes, this means removing a problematic tooth from your smile. If you have an infected or fractured tooth, our office is happy to provide you with a safe and comfortable tooth extraction to relieve you of pain and discomfort. Learn more about tooth extractions below.
Tooth Extractions in Bethesda, MD
Our office practices conservative dentistry, which means that we try to preserve the natural tooth structure whenever possible. However, sometimes an extraction is the best for your overall oral health. There are two different kinds of tooth extraction: simple and complex. A simple extraction occurs when the tooth is visible and on top of the gums/jawbone. Complex extractions take care of teeth that have broken off at the gum line or are impacted under the surface.
For both kinds of extractions, we ensure your comfort before proceeding with treatment. Local anesthetic completely numbs the area around where the extraction is taking place. The dentist uses a special tool to loosen the tooth in its socket, rocking it back and forth to sever the connection to the jawbone. This can be done quickly in our office, and you don’t have to worry about much of a recovery time.
Complex extractions require surgical intervention. A small incision is made so that we can get access to the tooth. Sometimes the tooth has to be broken into pieces to safely extract it, while other times, it can just be pulled right out. There are more extensive recovery times involved with this kind of extraction.
Do I Need a Tooth Extraction?
Tooth extraction is needed in a variety of different circumstances. Wisdom tooth removal is something almost everyone will need to get at some point. Our mouths usually don’t have enough room for this extra set of molars. Sometimes they start to erupt, while others stay impacted under the jaw. We monitor the development of your wisdom teeth so that they can be extracted before causing problems with your oral health.
We also need to extract teeth sometimes for orthodontic purposes. There are cases where your primary teeth don’t fall out, and we need to remove them so that your smile can develop properly. If your mouth is too crowded and it’s causing cramped, crooked teeth, we’ll remove certain teeth before you get braces or other orthodontic treatment to straighten your smile properly.
Dental crowns can often save teeth that are severely broken or decayed. A root canal removes any infection, and the crown keeps the tooth together. When dental crowns aren’t an option, extraction has to be done. We don’t want infection or trauma to damage other teeth, your gums, or your jawbone.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
After your extraction, the dentist will give you thorough instructions for aftercare. It’s important to follow these exactly so that the site can heal properly. If any antibiotics or pain medications are prescribed, follow the dosing instructions. We may also recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to help alleviate soreness. Icing the area helps to minimize swelling and inflammation as well.
For the first few days, don’t eat any foods that are hard or crunchy. Stick to soft foods that don’t require a lot of chewing. Avoid chewing at all in the area where the tooth was removed. Don’t drink anything out of a straw or smoke, either. These things can dislodge the blood clot, causing dry socket and other problems with healing.
Make sure you’re keeping up with your oral healthcare routine. Brush and floss as you normally would, but be especially gentle. Don’t brush the area with the missing tooth. Gently rinse out your mouth with antimicrobial mouthwash or warm saltwater to keep the extraction site clean.
Tooth Extraction FAQs
Dr. Khanna will provide select tooth extractions to patients suffering from infected or fractured teeth. If you suspect you may need a tooth extracted, please contact us for a consultation. Below are answers to common questions about tooth extractions:
How do dentists perform tooth extractions?
Firstly, your dentist performs tooth extractions by using a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. Once your dentist numbs the area, they gently rock the infected or fractured tooth back and forth until it is loose enough to extract. Lastly, the dentist may need a small soft tissue incision to assist in removing the tooth.
Will the tooth extraction procedure hurt?
We will do everything we can to ensure you do not experience intense pain or discomfort. We understand that tooth extractions may be an anxiety-provoking experience for some patients. Our compassionate dental care team is here to help keep you calm and comfortable every step of the way.
How should I care for my tooth following the extraction?
You will need to take it easy for a few days after your tooth extraction. 24 hours after your dentist completes the procedure, you may rinse your mouth out with a homemade saltwater solution. Eat soft foods, and avoid drinking from a straw for the first few days. To keep swelling down, you may hold an ice pack to your jawbone over the affected area.
What options do I have for replacing extracted teeth?
Once your mouth has healed from the extraction, we are happy to provide restorative dentistry solutions. Solutions such as dental implants or dental bridges may be best for patients who are only missing one or a few consecutive teeth. Patients who are missing a full arch of teeth will require either dentures or partials.
What should you not do after a tooth extraction?
You should not eat any hard or crunchy foods. Don’t drink any hot beverages for at least 24 hours. You should also avoid using a straw for at least 24 hours. The sucking motion can cause the blood clot that forms in the extraction site to become dislodged, which can lead to painful complications. This also increases your risk of developing an infection and can also slow down the healing process. Lastly, avoid any strenuous activity for at least 24-48 hours.
How long does it take to recover from a tooth extraction?
The amount of time you will need to recover from a tooth extraction depends on the type of It depends on the type extraction. If it’s a simple tooth extraction, then it will usually take a day or two. If it is a more complicated extraction, then it may take longer to heal. How well they follow post-operative care instructions is important as well. Most patients will be able to return to routine activities within 48 to 72 hours.
Schedule A Consultation with Dentist Dr. Khanna
Looking for treatment options to address complex dental concerns? Bethesda Family Smiles would be happy to welcome you to our dentist’s office. We provide patients of all ages with treatment options to restore their smiles following dental damages. Please schedule an appointment with our office online. We look forward to seeing you soon.