Here at MCDC, our main priority is to help you keep your natural teeth, as they are the best for biting, chewing, talking, and maintaining proper mouth and jawbone structure. So we’ll
strive to preserve and restore them first. In the event that a restoration isn’t feasible, we’ll pull a tooth, a dental procedure that’s also known as a tooth extraction.
Reasons for a Tooth Extraction
There are many reasons you may need to have a tooth removed. Your dentist will discuss your specific reason with you. Common reasons for removing a tooth include:
- Tooth pain
- Fix overcrowding, especially before getting braces to give remaining teeth room to move and align properly
- Gum disease that has caused a loss of bone or gum support
- Impacted wisdom teeth (wisdom teeth coming in at an awkward angle)
- Severe tooth decay
- Broken or chipped tooth that cannot be repaired
- Baby tooth that has not fallen out on its own
Signs a Tooth Might Need to be Pulled
If you’re experiencing pain that worsens when eating or with pressure, have gum disease, swollen gums, jaw pain, or severe pain let your MCDC dentist know. We’ll take a look and determine if a tooth extraction is necessary. We certainly want you to feel better, so even if you don’t need to have a tooth pulled, we’ll come up with a solution to end the discomfort.
Tooth Extraction FAQs
Before scheduling the procedure, your MCDC dentist will take an X-ray of your tooth. Be sure to tell your dentist about any medications you take, as well as all vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs.
Also, tell your MCDC dentist if you have any of the following conditions:
- A congenital heart defect
- Liver Disease
- Thyroid Disease
- Renal Disease
- An artificial joint, like a hip replacement
- Damaged heart valves
We want to make sure your conditions are stable before you undergo a tooth extraction so that you have a positive, safe, and healthy outcome.
First and foremost, we want to alleviate any apprehension or anxiety you may feel about having an extraction, so your MCDC dentist will talk you through the procedure ahead of time and answer any questions that you may have. During the extraction itself, your dentist will make sure you are numb and as comfortable as possible. While the tooth is being removed, you may feel some pressure and hear some noises. After the tooth is pulled, you may get a few stitches.
Home care instructions will be reviewed with you after your dental procedure is complete. Caring for you is our number one priority, so someone from our dental team will follow up with a phone call. During this call, we’ll answer any questions and address any concerns.
Fact: Most human jaws can comfortably fit 28 teeth. Those 28 teeth all come in before wisdom teeth do. With wisdom teeth the total becomes 32. Because most mouths can’t accommodate four more teeth, wisdom teeth are often extracted. As every mouth is different, there are instances when a patient can keep their wisdom teeth, so we’ll consider your unique
situation and make a recommendation.
Tooth removals can range in price, especially when it comes to the type of procedure needed. Dental insurance plans also vary. Our dental team is here to help you evaluate your coverage details and determine costs. We also have two options that make dental care more affordable: MyDental Plan and Care Credit, which we are happy to discuss with you.
When you have a tooth removal you need to take extra care of your mouth. Doing certain things, even on the first day, may help you feel better and heal faster. Home care instructions will be reviewed with you during dental visit to set you up for success.
- You will be sent home with gauze to bite on to help form a blood clot.
- To lessen any pain your dentist may recommend over-the-counter medications. If medication is prescribed during your visit please make sure to follow it as prescribed.
- Place a cold compress near the tooth removal site to reduce swelling. Apply the cold for 10 minutes and remove for 5. Repeat as needed.
- Limit your activity level and get enough rest to aid your healing.
Do’s: Eat a soft diet of healthy foods, gently brush your teeth, keep your tooth removal site clean.
Don’ts: Don’t drink through a straw, don’t drink hot liquids, and don’t smoke.
It is normal to feel pain after your numbing medication wears off. For 24 hours after having your tooth pulled, you should expect some swelling and residual bleeding. Call your MCDC dentist right away if you experience any of the following:
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Nausea or vomiting
- Redness, swelling, or excessive discharge from the affected area
- Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or nausea
A tooth extraction takes about two weeks to heal. Here are some additional side effects or issues you may experience.
- Sensitivity in adjacent teeth: It’s not unusual for neighboring teeth to be sensitive for a short period of time.
- Chipped tooth: Adjacent teeth can be vulnerable to chipping. We may be able to repair small chips.
- Jaw joint pain: You may experience some difficulty opening your mouth wide, or pain when chewing.
- Nerve damage: Some patients experience long-lasting numbness in the lower lip or chin after a tooth has been pulled.
- Dry docket: A dry socket occurs when a blood clot either fails to form in the hole or becomes dislodged. If you think you have dry socket, contact your MCDC dentist right away.
- Jaw fracture: Though it happens rarely, a jaw can fracture. This is more common in older patients who suffer from bone thinning (osteoporosis).
- Infection: Bacteria or trapped food can get caught in the hole left by the pulled tooth. Infections are treated by antibiotics.
We don’t want to leave you with a gap in your smile. Once your extraction has healed, we’ll talk to you about your options for replacing your missing tooth. Depending on your preferences, budget, and oral health we’ll recommend an implant, bridge, or partial denture. We do not do implants at MCDC, so if that’s what you need, we’ll happily refer you to another dentist we trust to take good care of you.