Infection from a damaged tooth can spread to surrounding teeth and gums when a tooth becomes severely decayed or injured. At Cedar Creek Dental: Office of Dr. Phil Han, we extract a tooth if it cannot be saved with root canal therapy. If such a damaged tooth is left untreated, its condition could worsen and an emergency tooth extraction may be the only treatment needed to avoid spreading infection. An emergency dentist will perform the procedure under local anesthesia, although general anesthesia may also be administered if removing the tooth is complex or the patient requests it. Some pain and swelling are expected after an emergency tooth extraction, so patients should speak to their dentist about pain management options before the procedure.
The Procedure for Extractions
First, our dentist will apply anesthetic to the tooth so you will be completely numb during the procedure. Then, they will make an incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and loosen it from the socket. Once the tooth is loose enough to be removed, the dentist will use forceps to remove the tooth from the socket. Sometimes, if the tooth is impacted or otherwise stuck in the socket, the tooth may be broken into pieces to make removing it easier. Once removed, the space will be filled with gauze to stop the bleeding and allow your gums to heal. More detailed instructions on home care will be provided after the procedure.
Our dentist may also prescribe pain medication to help control any lingering discomfort after the surgery. Don’t eat hard or crunchy foods until your mouth fully heals, and try to avoid smoking. Continue to schedule regular dental appointments even if you think you don’t have any problems with your teeth to keep them healthy and robust in the future. If feasible, we could recommend placing a dental implant after a tooth extraction to replace your missing tooth and prevent your other teeth from shifting out of position.
The Reasons for Extractions
- There is a severe tooth infection, which needs to be removed to minimize the infection's spread.
- You are having a tooth pulled in preparation for orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist will need to make room for your teeth to shift into proper alignment; an extraction is one way.
- The teeth may also need to be removed if they are already loose due to advanced gum disease.
- A severe crack in the tooth cannot be fixed with a dental crown or other restorative treatment, and the tooth needs to be extracted to prevent further damage and infection.
- Tooth crowding is another common reason for extraction of wisdom teeth if they have become impacted or cause misalignment of the surrounding teeth.
In many cases, extracting a tooth before it becomes infected or inflamed can prevent you from needing more painful oral surgery in the future. To learn more about the benefits of dental extraction, visit Cedar Creek Dental: Office of Dr. Phil Han at 11786 SW Barnes Rd #360, Portland, OR 97225, or call (503) 646-1811.