Our goal at River Vista Dentistry is to help you keep your natural teeth healthy. Sometimes, though, the best course of action is a tooth extraction. If you need to have a tooth removed, Dr. Marshall will talk you through the procedure and do everything he can to keep you comfortable while we work. That includes providing you with local anesthesia and, if necessary, safe sedation options.
Why a Tooth Extraction?
While it’s true that people are keeping their natural teeth for longer, there are still times when an extraction is the best option for keeping the rest of the mouth healthy. These are some common situations that may call for a tooth extraction:
- Trauma or decay that can’t be corrected with a crown or filling
- Deep infections that aren’t resolved with a root canal
- Gum disease that leads to a breakdown of the jawbone – a leading cause of tooth loss
- Overcrowding that causes misalignment of teeth and/or bite
- Problematic wisdom teeth that become impacted or infected
Tooth Extraction Process
There are two different ways to extract a tooth. The method we use will depend on whether your tooth is visible above the gumline and the health of the surrounding gum tissue and bone.
A simple extraction is just how it sounds – simple! Dr. Marshall will numb the immediate area, loosen the tooth, and then remove the tooth using forceps. We’re able to use this method when the tooth is visible above the gums and there is no sign of damage or infection to the surrounding area.
A surgical extraction is needed when the tooth is not visible above the gumline, whether that’s because it hasn’t erupted or the crown of the tooth broke at or below the gumline. In addition to a local anesthetic, we may also sedate you with nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation so you’re comfortable throughout the process. During the surgery, Dr. Marshall will make a small incision in the gum to reach the tooth.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
You can expect to feel some discomfort after a tooth extraction, whether it was a simple or surgical extraction. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, like ibuprofen, can help ease the pain. We’ll send you home with detailed instructions on caring for the area and maintaining your oral hygiene routine in the days and weeks after the procedure. If you ever have any questions about your recovery, don’t hesitate to call us!
Tooth Extraction FAQs
What is the recovery time after a tooth extraction?
Depending on the type of extraction you have – simple or surgical – you can expect to feel some discomfort for at least a few days after the procedure. It may take up to two weeks for your mouth to feel completely normal again and for you to be able to brush and floss like normal.
How long will I be in pain after a tooth extraction?
During your extraction, you should only feel pressure, not pain. After the local anesthesia wears off, though, you may have some swelling and pain for a few days. We recommend taking an over-the-counter pain reliever and using an ice pack to combat the swelling.
What can I eat after a tooth extraction?
After a tooth extraction, soft foods are your friends. Yogurt, applesauce, soups (not too hot), smoothies, oatmeal, and yes, ice cream. You should be sure to avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods for at least a week after the extraction. Straws should also be avoided – the suction can cause clots to loosen, and your body needs the clots to heal the extraction site.