​​Why Do I Need to Have My Tooth Removed?

Your dentist may recommend removal of a tooth for any number of reasons. The most common reasons include:
  • Severe infection in the tooth not salvageable with root canal therapy
  • Broken tooth beyond restoration, especially root fractures
  • Wisdom teeth removal
  • Teeth crowding, as indicated by an orthodontist
  • Impacted teeth
  • Excessive tooth decay
  • Retained baby teeth

What Can I Expect When Having a Tooth Removed in Charlotte, NC?

If you need an extraction, you can expect the process to vary in time depending on whether you need a simple extraction or a surgical one. Generally, impacted teeth require surgical removal to remove all parts of the tooth, whereas visible teeth only need simple extraction.

During a simple extraction, you will receive local numbing medication, which will keep you from feeling only minor pressure and not pain during the process. The dentist lifts the tooth with an elevator and pulls it out of the socket with forceps.

You may need a surgical extraction for impacted teeth. During this process, you may get additional anesthesia to help relax you with the local numbing medication. The dentist will need to cut into the gums and bone to remove the tooth in this type of extraction completely.

How Can I Prepare for Getting a Tooth Pulled?

Prior to having a tooth removed, your dentist or surgeon will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the procedure. Most oral surgeons require a consultation appointment prior to actually having a tooth extracted. In some instances, your general dentist may request a consultation appointment, as well. If a tooth needs to be removed in an emergency situation, your consultation and extraction may essentially be in one appointment.

Prior to having a tooth extracted, it is imperative that your doctor is made aware of your full medical history and any medications you may take- prescribed and over the counter. Please also inform your doctor of any past complications you may have had during dental procedures. If you are thinking about having an implant placed to replace a missing tooth, talk to your dentist or surgeon about that prior to extraction, as they may want to place a bone graft afterwards.

It may be difficult to determine prior to the extraction if it will be simple or surgical. Simple extractions involve the removal of the tooth with hand instruments, such as elevators and forceps. Surgical extractions may require sectioning the tooth or removing bone structure with a surgical handpiece, or drill. A seemingly simple extraction may easily become a surgical extraction during the procedure, depending on the level of bone surrounding the tooth, the amount of decay associated with the tooth, and the structure and shape of the tooth roots. Patients are anesthetized with local anesthetic, such as Lidocaine or Mepivacaine, prior to extraction, therefore surgical and simple extractions should feel no different to the patient during treatment. The recovery times for simple and surgical extractions may be different, and your doctor will provide post-operative instructions at the time of your procedure. If you typically have dental anxiety, or your doctor has told you that you will be sedated or groggy after your extraction, please bring someone with you to the appointment.

To prepare for dental extractions, ask us any questions you have about the procedure during your consultation. Let us know which prescription and non-prescription medications you take, including herbal supplements and vitamins. Also, tell your dentist about any chronic medical conditions you have. You may also want to discuss the possibility of replacing the pulled tooth with a dental implant as a permanent option to restore your smile.

Before the procedure, find out what type of extraction you need. If you need the surgical option, have someone bring you to your appointment. Make sure to clear your schedule for the remainder of the day after the extraction to allow you to get adequate rest and heal.

Benefits of Dental Extractions Charlotte NC

Dental extractions offer many benefits, including:

  • Removal of the source of infection: teeth with infections or abscesses that cannot be treated via root canal therapy may require extraction so that the infection does not spread. Tooth pain associated with infection will also be alleviated after the source of the infection is removed.
  • Improved Tooth Spacing: In cases of severe crowding, an orthodontist may request that teeth, usually premolars, be removed to provide more room for the remaining teeth
  • Removal of Impacted or Extra Teeth: Some teeth do not fully erupt into their normal position in the mouth, in which case they are known as “impacted.” Impactions can either be fully in bone, or under the gum. Many wisdom teeth are impacted and require removal. Some patients have extra teeth, known as supernumerary teeth, which may require removal.

What Do I Need to Know About Recovery from Dental Extractions?

Always follow your dentist or surgeon’s instructions for the recovery process after dental extractions. Proper post-operative care results in fewer complications.

On the day of the extraction, do not rinse or spit. For 3-5 days after extraction, refrain from drinking through a straw or smoking. Spitting, smoking, and drinking through a straw can increase your chances of having a dry socket. A dry socket occurs when the blood clot formed in the extraction site is dislodged, leaving the bone in the socket exposed. Dry sockets can be very painful, but can be successfully avoided. Avoid drinking carbonated or alcoholic beverages for 3-5 days after your procedure. Juice, tea, water, Gatorade, and coffee are all acceptable for the days after your surgery. However, avoid eating or drinking foods that are too hot, as heat can cause excessive bleeding.

Your doctor will have you bite on folded gauze immediately after the procedure. Instructions for changing the gauze and how to properly address post-operative bleeding will be provided to you at your appointment. Pressure from biting firmly on the folded gauze is what allows the blood to clot. Ice packs can be used for post-operative swelling and pain. Do not put heat on your face or jaws after extractions.

Avoid eating hard or crunchy foods, and foods with small particles, such as grits, rice, oatmeal, or seeds. Rinse your mouth a few times a day, especially after meals, to dislodge any food particles that may remain in the extraction site. Floss and brush as usual, however avoid brushing the gums around the extraction site.

Post-operative instructions will be provided to you in writing and discussed with you at the time of your appointment. Please contact our office with any questions or concerns after your extraction procedure.

Leave the gauze in place as instructed to allow for a blood clot to form and protect the area. Also, take it easy and get some rest. Use an ice pack on your cheek to control swelling and pain after the anesthesia wears off.

Avoid eating hard foods during the ensuing days and doing anything to move the clot on the extraction site. You should continue to brush and floss but do not disturb the clot. Contact our team with any questions about the extraction, preparation, or healing process.