Have you been told you need a tooth removed? Such news can be chilling and it may fill you with dread if you don’t know what to expect. If you need a tooth extraction, know that this is not an unusual predicament. Approximately 69 percent of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 have lost at least one tooth. Sometimes those teeth were knocked out during an accident, but dental extractions are more common than many patients realize.
Do you need a tooth extraction? Call River Birch Dental at 715-646-2161 for an appointment. We are located in Centuria, WI and are convenient to many locations in the western Wisconsin area.
How It Happens
It can happen much faster than you might think. You may be biting down on a piece of popcorn, when you hear the tell-tale “crack” and feel a jolt that indicates you’ve just cracked a tooth. Sometimes a tooth can be saved with a crown, but deep cracks and fractures can often damage a tooth beyond our ability to preserve it.
Tooth decay can also escalate quickly, leading to extensive structural damage. Usually a toothache will alert you to a deep cavity, but this is not the case for everyone. When a tooth is too badly damaged to save it with a filling, root canal, or crown—a tooth extraction becomes necessary.
The good news is that an extraction clears the way for good oral health in the future. If your extracted tooth had a deep cavity, removing it ensures the decay will not spread or lead to a dangerous infection. Once the tooth is removed and the gum tissue has healed, a prosthetic can be created to make your smile whole again.
What Happens During an Extraction
Simple tooth extractions can usually be completed in a matter of minutes. During the extraction:
- We administer an anesthetic injection to numb the area.
- A tool called an elevator may be used to loosen the tooth.
- A forceps is used to grip the tooth and gently slide it out of the gums.
We will never begin an extraction until we are certain the area has been adequately numbed by the anesthetic. You should feel no painful sensations during the treatment, but you may feel movement as we grip the tooth and move it gently back-and-forth. If the tooth has broken into smaller parts, it may take a few more minutes to make sure all the pieces have been located and removed.
When an unerupted tooth must be removed (such as a wisdom tooth) this is referred to as a surgical extraction. The procedure for surgical extractions is a bit different, and requires a longer appointment and post-surgical care. If you need wisdom teeth removed, contact our office to learn more about this treatment.
After Your Tooth Extraction
Simple extractions of erupted teeth usually heal very quickly. We will provide you with gauze pads to bite, to control any bleeding that occurs. During the first few hours after an extraction, patients should refrain from eating or creating any suction in the mouth (spitting, sucking through a straw, smoking, etc.). This will allow the socket to form a blood clot and heal properly. If you have continued bleeding or pain from the socket, call our office to speak with a member of our staff.
Once your mouth has healed from the extraction, you should begin thinking about having the tooth replaced with a prosthetic. Leaving a gap in your alignment can lead to greater oral health problems.
When a tooth is not replaced, the nearby teeth will slowly shift their position inwards to fill the gap. Over time, many teeth may become misaligned and your bite will not function properly. This can lead to chewing problems, cracked or eroded enamel, as well as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. Taken together, these potential complications mean that if you don’t replace a lost tooth, you are more likely to lose another one!
Tooth Replacement at River Birch Dental
You can preserve your oral health and repair your smile with either a dental bridge or a dental implant. A dental bridge is a one-piece prosthetic that uses your adjacent teeth to support a replacement tooth. Bridges look natural in your smile, give you a new chewing surface, and stabilize the teeth—so your alignment won’t change.
A better tooth replacement option is a free-standing dental implant. Tooth implants replace the whole tooth, root to crown. They feel more lifelike than bridges and are more permanent, since bridges must be replaced every eight years or so. Ask your doctor at River Birch Dental to explain your tooth replacement options. We will go over the processes, predicted costs, and other considerations, so you can make an informed decision.
Call River Birch Dental if you need a tooth extraction in the western Wisconsin area. We provide comfortable tooth extractions to relieve your pain and clear the way for a replacement tooth. Call us at 715-646-2161 to make an appointment.