Even when we do our best to maintain a good oral health routine, we may still find ourselves in need of tooth extraction. Riverstone Family Dentistry wants you to feel comfortable when this happens. The best way to help you feel this way is by making sure that you understand what this process entails.
Before you even arrive in our office, it's possible for you to know that your tooth may need to be extracted. This is because you'll be experiencing severe tooth pain that grows worse when you place pressure on that tooth (e.g., chew), swollen gums surrounding this tooth, and stiffness or pain in your jaw near the tooth itself.
When you have these signs, we may suggest that you have the tooth extracted. This is something you should do as soon as possible, so your tooth doesn't grow more painful, become infected, or get misaligned. Throughout the process, you shouldn't feel any pain since we'll give you a local anesthetic. However, once the extraction is over a small amount of swelling and pain are considered normal. You can take over the counter pain killers and place an ice bag directly on the area to lessen pain and prevent swelling.
Sometimes we may prescribe prophylactic antibiotics after an extraction. This is because some studies have shown that they'll help reduce any risk of dry socket or infection and reduce pain, especially when a third molar is removed. At other times other types of antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent any complications that would result from an infection.
It will take you some time to heal from an extraction. After all, you do have a hole in your mouth and a divot in your gum. Nevertheless, two weeks after a small extraction you may appear to be completely healed. Remember, each person does heal differently so some people may be healed in as little as five days.
Once your mouth heals, you can return to your normal physical activities. It is important to understand that your soft tissue won't completely heal for three to four weeks after the extraction though. Surgical extractions (an extraction where you have a tooth being removed from both your gums and your jawbone) will take a bit longer.
Root Canals vs. Extractions
Remember, this information is about tooth extraction, not a root canal. When possible, we will always perform a root canal because it'll fix your natural tooth and keep it in place. However, when your tooth is too far compromised, we will perform a tooth extraction. Often this will be followed by a dental implant.
Hopefully, you find that you now feel a bit more comfortable regarding tooth extractions. However, if you're still feeling uncomfortable or you find yourself still having questions, make sure you call Riverstone Family Dentistry at (360) 326-1443 to set up an appointment to get the answers and the information you need. We'll do our best to help you feel more comfortable about any tooth extractions you may need.