At Valley Dental Group in Renton, Washington, we always aim to preserve your natural teeth as best we can, offering preventative care, fillings and other treatments to keep them in their best shape. But there are times when an extraction is unavoidable. Whether you simply need your wisdom teeth removed or are dealing with extreme tooth damage such as tooth decay, disease, or breakage, sometimes a tooth extraction becomes the best course of action. If that is the case, our family dentists will work to make the process as smooth and painless as possible, walking you through every step of the process and using local anesthetics to avoid unnecessary pain. But in some cases, extractions may need to be referred out to a specialist.
What is a dental extraction?
A tooth extraction, often referred to as tooth pulling, consists of removing a tooth from the socket in the bone. Though oral surgery methods that treat the tooth instead of removing it are often the preferable route, sometimes tooth extractions become necessary due to extreme tooth decay, trauma to the tooth, or disease.
What is the process of a tooth extraction?
At Valley Dental Group, we aim to make the extraction process as smooth and comfortable as possible. Ahead of the extraction, we will X-ray the area to determine the best way to extract the tooth. During the procedure, the patient usually remains awake, but we typically use local anesthetic injections to keep you from feeling the pain as we remove the tooth. A simple extraction involves removing a tooth that is visible in your mouth and consists of loosening the tooth and using forceps to remove it. A surgical extraction is more complex, consisting of removing a tooth that either hasn’t surfaced in the mouth yet or has broken off at the gum line. Surgical extractions more often require general anesthesia, as they involve a small incision in your gum to extract the tooth.
Following the oral surgery, you will have small amounts of bleeding for the next day and shouldn’t disturb the clot that forms on the wound. Putting ice packs on your face will help reduce swelling, and taking anti-inflammatory medicine can help reduce pain. You should eat soft foods for a few days and rinse your mouth with warm salt water to help keep the area clean.
Signs you need an extraction
The most common reason for a tooth extraction is extreme damage to the tooth that can’t be repaired by a crown, filling, or other treatment. That damage can occur from extreme tooth decay, gum disease, or trauma to the tooth resulting in a break or fracture. Signs that you may need a tooth extraction include:
- Extreme tooth pain or toothache
- A fracture or break in your tooth
- Your wisdom teeth are coming in and causing pain or are impacted in the jaw
- You have extra teeth that are blocking other teeth from coming in
- Your baby teeth don’t fall out in time to let permanent teeth grow in
If you think you may need a tooth extraction, call us today at 425.271.1727. Our experienced family dentists, Dr. Luke St. Marie and Dr. Christine Chen, will help determine whether an extraction is indeed necessary. If so, we’ll walk you through every step of the process so you feel comfortable and assured the whole way.