You and Dr. Tanner may determine that you need a tooth pulled for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed, and cannot be saved; others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.
To avoid these complications, in most cases, Dr. Tanner will discuss replacement of the extracted tooth. Dr. Tanner is trained and has years of experience in placing implants as this is the best option to replace a tooth. In order to prepare the area where the tooth was pulled, Dr. Tanner will place a bone graft so that there will be adequate bone in the area after you have healed from the extraction.
The Extraction Process
At the time of extraction the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic.
During the extraction process you may feel a lot of pressure, with little to no pain. Dr. Tanner is trained in techniques that don't require excessive pulling and this helps in healing as well as improved long-term plans for the area.
If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction please let us know, and he will stop right away and give you more numbing medicine.
You also have the option to use Nitrous Oxide ("laughing gas") during the procedure. This helps people feel calm and is in fact the way that Dr. Tanner got his wisdom teeth removed when he was a teenager.
After Tooth Extraction
After tooth extraction, its important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a moist gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the appointment. It is important to get the gauze damp so that when you take it out 30 minutes later, it doesn't stick to the clot and pull it out, restarting the bleeding. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, continue placing moist gauze pads and bite firmly for 30 minutes increments. You may have to do this several times to staunch the flow of blood.
After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site. Avoid heavy lifting as well, and if you need a note for work, we are more than happy to provide you one.
After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain and antibiotic medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 72 hours.
Use pain medication as directed. Call our office if the medication does not seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. Avoid granular foods like rice, oatmeal, and other small compact food that can get packed into the extraction site while you eat. However, you can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.
It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.
After a few days you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at (206) 623-7296.