Tooth Extractions

Tooth Extractions in Ballwin, MO

Teeth that are broken, decaying, or impacted can cause severe pain and discomfort. If the damage is beyond repair or potentially hurting surrounding teeth, it may be best to remove the tooth from your mouth in a procedure called a tooth extraction. The dentists at Baxter Dental Group in Ballwin can perform tooth extractions to help relieve pain and prevent any further damage. Schedule an appointment with our skilled dentists today!

When Is Tooth Extraction Necessary?

In many cases, a tooth that is broken or damaged by decay can be repaired with a filling, crown, or other dental procedure. However, tooth removal may be necessary if the tooth is so severely damaged that it cannot be treated with other methods. Tooth removal may also be done during orthodontics treatment to make room for teeth being moved into place or sometimes a tooth may be removed to prevent damage from happening, such as in the case of wisdom teeth removal. One of our expert dentists can perform a thorough evaluation of your teeth and determine what the best treatment is for your unique situation.

Tooth removal may be necessary in these situations:

  • The tooth is too severely broken or damaged
  • Decay or infection has reached deep into the tooth, making it impossible or too costly to repair
  • Wisdom teeth (third molars) are impacted/won’t have room to grow
  • Baby teeth don’t fall out in time for the permanent teeth to come in
  • Orthodontic work requires tooth removal to create room for the teeth as they move into place in
  • Advanced gum disease may require tooth removal as to not affect the supporting tissues and bone structures of your mouth
  • A crowded mouth
  • A very loose tooth (that a bone graft can’t help)
  • Trauma or injury may require emergency tooth extraction

What to Expect When Getting a Tooth Pulled

Before removing a tooth, your dentist will thoroughly review your medical and dental history and take the appropriate X-rays to reveal the length, shape, and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. From this information, we can determine the best way to remove the tooth or whether to refer you to an oral surgeon.

The Tooth Extraction Process

There are two types of tooth extractions:

  • A simple extraction is the removal of a tooth that is visible in your mouth. A dentist can perform these tooth removals. During a simple extraction, your dentist will use local anesthetic to numb the tooth and gum tissue around the tooth. They will then loosen the tooth with an instrument called an elevator before removing it with dental forceps. During the extraction, you will feel the pressure of the tooth being removed, but will not feel any pain. Typically, the dentist is able to remove your tooth within a matter of minutes.
  • A surgical extraction is a more complex procedure used for a tooth that may have broken off at the gum line or has not come into the mouth yet. An oral surgeon may be required to perform a surgical extraction but not always. During a surgical extraction, the doctor might administer intravenous (IV) anesthesia, which can range from conscious sedation to general anesthesia, which will put you to sleep. They will then make a small incision into your gum and remove the underlying tooth. If you are given intravenous (IV) anesthesia, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and stay with you until the effects wear off.

After Tooth Extraction Care

While the tooth extraction may be over quickly, the oral care that you follow after your procedure will greatly impact your overall oral health. The most important thing to keep up with after a tooth extraction is keeping the area clean and preventing infection. After a tooth extraction, a small amount of bleeding is normal and a patch of dry, sterile gauze will be placed in the affected area. The area may bleed minimally for the next 24 hours or so and taper off after that.

You can expect a certain amount of pain and discomfort following an extraction. The dentist may provide a prescription for painkillers. Under normal circumstances, discomfort should lessen within three days to two weeks. However, if you experience prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or fever, call your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.

Here are some helpful tips to reduce discomfort, speed up the healing process, and minimize the risk of infection after a tooth extraction:

  • Bite firmly, but gently on the gauze your dentist provided to limit bleeding while clotting takes place
  • Change the gauze pads when they are soaked with blood, or leave for three to four hours
  • Take painkillers as needed
  • Apply an ice pack to the affected area ten minutes at a time to reduce swelling
  • Do not rinse or spit forcefully for the first 24 hours (try to shake your head to rinse and let water pour out of your mouth to avoid dislodging the blood clot)
  • Do not drink from a straw for at least 72 hours after extraction
  • Eat only soft foods such as pudding, applesauce, and soup for at least the first day after extraction
  • Do not smoke for 24 hours after extraction
  • Sleep with pillows propping you up to avoid prolonging the bleeding

Dental Extractions in Ballwin

Tooth extractions and wisdom tooth removal are often preventative measures taken to protect other teeth in the mouth. Tooth removal makes room for something better and can help keep your smile healthy and confident. No matter what your situation is, our experienced Ballwin dentists can determine which treatment is right for you. We at Baxter Dental Group are dedicated to minimizing pain and maximizing your oral health — contact us today!

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