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Tooth Extractions Dentist in Puyallup

Pain-Free Tooth Extractions

Impacted teeth and wisdom teeth that can potentially cause problems, like infections, need to be removed. Extractions can range from a single tooth, to removing all four wisdom teeth at once. Based on the preference of the doctor and/or the patient, a local anesthetic could be used to numb the areas where the teeth will be extracted. Others will prefer to go under a general anesthetic so that they will be sedated during the procedure.

Couple smiling

Wisdom Teeth Extractions

Wisdom teeth extractions are a fairly common procedure. Wisdom teeth often cause problems as they are trying to protrude through the gums. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it means the tooth is coming in at an angle and not straight through the gum line. This can cause pain, the tooth can come in unevenly, or the tooth may only emerge partially.

When a wisdom tooth only emerges partially a flap of skin, called an operculum, may form over the tooth. This can make the tooth hard to clean, and pieces of food may be caught under the skin. This makes it easy for an infection, called pericoronitis, to develop. It will usually go away on its own, but it causes swelling and pain in the area.

The Process

The gum tissue around the wisdom tooth is cut open to reveal the tooth. The tooth is loosened by gripping it tightly and wiggling it back and forth until it can be lifted out of the gums. Sometimes a tooth may be impacted so tightly that it cannot be simply lifted out of the gums. In cases like this the tooth will be broken up into pieces first before being removed. Depending on the incision and extraction site, sutures may be needed to close the area. Soluble sutures are the best option, which will dissolve on their own.

After the surgery, you will need to rest. You need to be driven home by a friend or family member because of the anesthesia.

You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist will prescribe you pain medication, so if you become sore take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain. Your dentist might also provide you with a cleaning solution to clean the extraction site.

Post Surgery

You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are:

  • Gelatin
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Ice Cream
  • Thin Soups

..and other food you can eat without chewing
When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don’t feel that the extraction site is healing properly call your dentist for a follow-up.

oral surgery

Tooth Extraction in Puyallup, WA

The prospect of having a tooth pulled is never pleasant, but there are times when it simply cannot be avoided. If you have impacted wisdom teeth, for example, or if teeth are too badly decayed to be preserved by root canals, caps, or other means, are examples of situations where tooth extraction is warranted. If you’ve been told by one of BellaSmiles Dentistry’s staff that you’ll need to have one or more teeth extracted, it’s a serious matter that should be treated as if you were undergoing surgery on any other part of your body. Preparing properly for the procedure, and following after-care instructions carefully, will help ensure that your tooth extraction is just a minor inconvenience and not a major pain.

Women at dentist office smiling

Tooth extraction: before and after

Depending on the number of teeth that need to be extracted, and whether any surrounding gum tissue or jawbone is involved, your dentist will administer anesthesia. If you smoke, this is the perfect time to quit. Smoking slows the healing process and can lead to a painful condition called dry sockets. Abstain from tobacco in the hours leading up to the procedure and avoid smoking or using chew in the days afterward. You can use a nicotine patch if you think this might be difficult. If your dentist prescribes antibiotics or steroids before or after your tooth extraction, take them as instructed. Bleeding and swelling are normal. We may give you a prescription for pain medication, which should only be used as needed. BellaSmiles Dentistry has performed hundreds of successful tooth extractions on the most nervous of patients, so call us today if you have one or more teeth that are bothering you.

I have a horrible toothache! Will that tooth need to be extracted?

Not necessarily. Call BellaSmiles Dentistry immediately and we’ll get you in for an exam ASAP.

Can I/should I brush and floss my teeth before my tooth extraction?

Absolutely. This will reduce the chance of infection, and that’s always a good thing.

How soon can I go back to work after getting a tooth extracted?

Each situation is different, but most of the time patients can go back to work the following day.

How long will it take for my gum(s) to heal after my tooth extraction?

Two to three weeks is the norm for the closure of the wound following dental extraction. You may feel some loose soft tissue remaining at the surgical site, but this subside eventually.

I’m a grouch without my morning coffee. Can I drink coffee after my procedure?

Sorry, hot liquids are a no-no. For cold drinks, avoid using straws as the sucking motion may dislodge the blood clot that is enabling your extraction site to heal. And NO SMOKING!

What should I use for pain relief after a dental extraction?

For a routine extraction of a single tooth, ibuprofen or acetaminophen (not aspirin) are usually effective pain relievers. If you’ve had a more complex procedure involving extraction of multiple teeth, you may be given a prescription for pain medication, which should only be taken if necessary.

What are my options for replacing my now missing teeth?

After you have completely healed from your dental extraction, BellaSmiles Dentistry will be ready to discuss tooth replacement, such as dental implants, bridges, partials, or crowns. Call our office in Puyallup, WA, for a consultation on tooth preservation or replacement.

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