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Decay, periodontitis (gum disease), or broken teeth caused by injury, require many people to have their teeth extracted. A tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth. In addition to decayed or broken teeth, sometimes teeth are removed to make room for other teeth or an orthodontia treatment. The dentist will extract a tooth if it is non-restorable, no longer useful, or harmful to the patient.
Depending on the situation, the dentist will perform a simple extraction or surgical extraction. Simple extractions are performed under local anesthesia on teeth which are visible in the mouth. After loosening the tooth from its socket, it is removed with dental forceps. Teeth that have broken under the gum line or have not fully erupted require a surgical extraction.
Post Extraction Guidelines:
• Keep gauze or sponge over the extraction site for at least 45 minutes after the extraction is performed.
• Don’t rinse or use mouthwash for at least 24 hours after an extraction.
• Depending on the case, a patient may rinse with warm salt water after 24 hours. (Approximately 1/2 teaspoon salt in eight ounces water every two hours)
• Avoid using straws, smoking, etc.
• Avoid brushing teeth for the first 24 hours.
• Avoid alcohol for a few days.
• Eat soft foods (i.e. seedless yogurt, mashed potatoes, popsicles, jello, warm soup, etc.)
If patient experiences excess bleeding or pain, it is important to call the dentist. In cases where sutures were placed, the patient will need to return for the removal of sutures and to assess healing. Swelling often occurs at the site of extraction. Swelling can be reduced by placing an ice bag on the extraction site for 15 minutes at a time; repeated every 30 minutes for the next six hours after the extraction. Only use ice on the day of surgery. The dentist may prescribe oral pain medications and/or antibiotics for pain and infections.