Your natural teeth should last a lifetime, but if your dentist cannot save them, they can recommend removing them. The qualified Aliso Viejo dentists at South Coast Dentistry can try to save your tooth by all means necessary, but a severely infected tooth leaves removal as the only option. Your dentist can also remove teeth for orthodontic purposes. We use our skills, optimal care, and state-of-the-art technology to gently perform the procedure to alleviate discomfort and pain and ensure comfort. After the extraction, we can recommend the best tooth replacement option to restore your smile and teeth to optimal function, beauty, and health.

Defining Tooth Extraction

A dental treatment whereby a tooth is fully removed from its socket is called tooth extraction.

Typically, tooth extraction is the last resort in general dentistry; keeping your natural teeth is ideal. Your physician can suggest tooth extraction if you have:

  • Gum disease — If you have periodontal disease, your dentist will extract your tooth because the underlying bone and gums are too eroded to hold it in place securely. Poor bone density means reduced chances of restoring your natural tooth.
  • Cavities — When tooth decay affects your tooth pulp and surface, your dentist cannot perform restorative dental procedures. These treatments are viable when your tooth structure is stable.
  • Complications resulting from wisdom teeth.
  • Dental infections.
  • Injury or trauma to your tooth or nearby bone.
  • Dental prosthesis preparation.
  • Preparation for fixing dental braces in cases where your teeth are crowded — Conventional orthodontic braces need adequate space for your teeth to move into the desired alignment. If your dentist cannot create space naturally, they can extract a tooth as an alternative.
  • Baby teeth, if they prolong falling out.

Preparation for a Tooth Removal Procedure

Dentists and surgeons with the proper medical training can administer tooth extraction treatment.

Before tooth extraction is considered an appropriate treatment, you must give your physician the relevant medical background information that might affect your treatment process. For instance, you should let your dentist know if you have any underlying conditions or medical devices that could increase your risk of infections and complications. These health conditions and medical devices can include the following:

  • Heart conditions.
  • Liver ailment.
  • Compromised or impaired immune system.
  • Artificial joints like hip, knee, etc.

Remember to carry a list of your medications to your initial dental appointment.

Providing your dentist with the necessary information can speed up your recovery process and allow them to determine whether tooth extraction is the best treatment option.

What to Expect During Your Tooth Extraction Treatment

The procedure's scope determines how the treatment will be done, whether using local or general anesthesia. The dentist will administer local anesthesia for easy tooth removal where your tooth is visible within the mouth.

The anesthetic is administered into or on the affected area; you should feel numb. Your doctor will ask whether you feel anything. When the anesthesia takes effect, your physician will lightly widen the tooth’s socket to assist in loosening your tooth before extracting it.

A little blood clot may form following the tooth’s removal, and your physician can use a gauze pad or stitches to accelerate healing. You could experience a minor pulling sensation, but the anesthetics should reduce the pain levels. If you feel uncomfortable, tell your dental healthcare provider to numb the treatment site again.

Different Types of Tooth Extractions

Dental surgeons classify extractions as either simple or surgical. The appropriate tooth extraction depends on the tooth:

  • Size.
  • Shape.
  • Its position within your mouth.

A simple extraction involves a dentist removing a whole tooth that can be seen on top of the gums.

If your tooth is invisible, has cracked from your gum, is yet to erupt, or is impacted, a surgical extraction could be necessary. An oral specialist usually undertakes the treatment. However, some dentists can perform it.

The procedure contrasts slightly with a simple extraction; the physician will create a tiny cut in the gum. Then, gently extract the tooth. In some cases, tooth removal is performed in parts or sections of the bone that could be extracted effectively and safely to remove the affected tooth.

Surgical extractions are more complicated since they can involve removing the bone, gum tissue, or both.

In general dentistry, the extraction of teeth is a usual treatment. Another notable variation between these surgeries relies on the kind of anesthetic applied and the duration of the procedure. The surgical extraction can take longer due to the impacted tooth's positioning. The treatment is less time-consuming if the tooth is visible.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Also, dentists perform wisdom tooth extractions to remove a wisdom tooth or teeth that can cause discomfort and pain.

Wisdom teeth, also called the third molars, erupt last and are located at the back of your tooth formation. They are found on the mouth’s lower and upper parts and mainly develop in adolescence and early adulthood. Some wisdom teeth are not problematic. Nevertheless, people who suffer from wisdom tooth difficulties face infection, pain, and eating challenges.

The dental procedure is usually performed after your wisdom teeth:

  • Affect other molars.
  • Fail to erupt fully.
  • Erupt and then cause discomfort and pain.

It is an arduous task to closely monitor the growth of your wisdom teeth because their development patterns differ with each patient. You should seek immediate medical treatment if you experience signs like pain, tooth overcrowding, damage to surrounding teeth, or gum infections. Even when your wisdom teeth are not problematic, visiting your dentist twice a year is crucial.

How Long is the Recovery Period?

Your aftercare package will vary according to the specific extraction treatment you received. You should expect to heal within 14 days. In the meantime, ensure the blood clot remains in your tooth socket. Removing it could create a dry socket, leading to much pain.

Over time, bone and gum tissues grow, fill the gap, and finally close up, permitting you to revert to your usual drinking and eating patterns.

You now have a gap where your tooth was and could have trouble chewing, or your teeth might slightly shift. Consequently, you should have a dentist appointment for a check-up and advice on tooth replacement options after your initial treatment.

What To Do After an Extraction

Your doctor should offer you aftercare instructions and guidelines, including:

  • Prescribing pain relievers.
  • Ensuring the gauze stays on for up to four (4) hours.
  • Resting without engaging in any hard workouts for a week.
  • Avoid rinsing for 24 hours to avoid dislodging the gauze.
  • Refraining from smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Flossing and brushing while leaving the treatment area unbothered.

Your Diet After Removal of a Tooth

It is necessary to discontinue eating hard foods following treatment. Excess pressure on the surgical site worsens your tooth and hinders recovery. Listed below are foods suitable after your procedure:

  • Mildly hot soup.
  • Smoothies.
  • Yogurt.
  • Ice-cream.

Some of the things to avoid eating include the following:

  • Hot and spicy meals.
  • Crips, carrots, nuts, or any other crunchy foods.

Managing Pain Following a Tooth Removal

It is normal to feel pain after a tooth extraction. You can also expect minor soreness in the tooth and nearby areas after the local or general anesthetic wears off.

Tooth removal pain is easily treatable with over-the-counter pain relief or prescription medication from your medical practitioner.

Other methods to reduce pain include:

  • Resting.
  • Placing a pack of ice or a bag of cold peas on your soreness for intervals of 10 minutes (Do not apply the pack directly to your skin; wrap it with a cloth.)
  • Eating soft meals.
  • Using salty water to rinse your mouth for 24 hours post-procedure.

How long should pain persist after your dental procedure?

The pain lasts about two to five days following the procedure and begins to fade afterward. You should only have minimal pain for ten days following treatment. If pain persists after 14 days, consult your dentist. It could be a dry socket.

Sleeping After Your Tooth Extraction

Surgical removal of your tooth usually causes bruising, jaw swelling, and pain that can lead to sleeping discomfort.

You can reduce discomfort and increase the possibility of having a good sleep by:

  • Taking prescribed pain medication as instructed.
  • Use Ibuprofen — If you do not have prescribed medication, you can take ibuprofen instead. You should take Ibuprofen when you do not have any underlying health conditions.
  • Create a cozy sleeping environment — Keep your room dimly lit and cool. Also, before bed, engage in healthy, relaxed habits.
  • Try elevating your head — Using extra pillows as you sleep reduces swelling and enhances clotting.
  • Sleep on your sides — Sleeping on your sides helps ensure your head rests nicely on a pillow, which sleeping on your back does not do.

Dry Socket

A dry socket forms when something moves from or dissolves blood clots in the socket. However, sometimes, a dry socket can happen without any blood clots.

Signs of a dry socket are as follows:

  • Severe pain after treatment lasting two to three days.
  • Visibility of the bone in the socket due to the loss of the blood clot.
  • An unpleasant and unfamiliar taste in the mouth.
  • Bad breath.

Avoid Smoking to Prevent Drdryet After Tooth Extraction

Persons who smoke or take tobacco are at a greater risk of having dry sockets after a tooth removal.

The fast inhalation of smoke dislodges your blood clot. It applies to every smoking category because tobacco products' chemicals prevent healing and cause infection.

If you smoke, lower your tobacco use for a few weeks before surgery. Suppose you require assistance reducing smoking as you recover or intend to use your dental procedure to start a quit-smoking program. Your knowledgeable dentist can guide you and provide the right resources for your smoking cessation plan.

If you have no intention of giving up tobacco use, the tips below can enable you to decrease your risk of dry socket:

  • Use a nicotine patch as an alternative.
  • Stop smoking for 48 hours following your surgery. If you revert to smoking, inhale very lightly.
  • Request that your doctor place stitches on your surgical sites.
  • While smoking, ensure the gauze is in place around your socket.
  • Refrain from chewing tobacco or nicotine gum.
  • When smoking urges occur, shift your mind to a new habit.

If you intend to smoke again, ask your medical practitioner when it is safe to restart.

If you feel pain, it could be due to your nerves and bones being exposed to a lack of protection. Your bone and dry socket are sensitive, and food fragments can easily get trapped within the dry socket. You need to ensure the gauze stays intact until you heal fully.

Dry Socket Treatment

When you have a dry socket, your dentist will first wash it to ensure it is free from food and other particles. It can also reduce pain and prevent infections.

Your doctor can also cover the socket with a medicated dressing.

If the dressing needs to be removed, you must visit your dentist after a few days. Your dentist should replace the dressing if the pain persists. If it is not painful, your physician can guide you on removing it at home and rewashing the socket later.

Your medical practitioner can also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection in the area. You can also rinse your mouth with salty water.

Costs of Tooth Removal

The cost of a tooth extraction depends on a few factors. A simple tooth removal is more affordable compared to a surgical procedure.

You can expect to pay more if your dentist’s dental office is in an urban area. The cost of living in big cities is high, and doctors charge more to increase their profit margin.

Patients needing a local anesthetic should pay less than those requiring general anesthesia.

A scheduled doctor's visit will help you analyze the costs and know what works best for you.

Tips on Reducing The Cost of Tooth Removal

Tooth extraction can be pricey, mainly if you need health insurance. Luckily, you can lower the financial impact by:

  • Asking if it is necessary to receive treatment from an oral surgeon or if your doctor can perform a simple extraction instead.
  • Request to pay in installments.
  • Seeking treatment at dental schools —Teaching institutions allow students to gain experience and learn under the supervision of seasoned dentists and offer care at reduced costs.
  • Search for coupons or bargains for specific groups. For instance, some dental practitioners offer discounts to military personnel, students, or emergency workers.
  • Consider using a credit card designated for dental services.

Filling the Missing Gap Following Your Tooth Extraction (Tooth Replacement Options)

When you fail to fill the space left behind after tooth extraction, your neighboring teeth can shift out of their position. The supporting tooth structures in your jawbone can start deteriorating over time, causing facial collapse. South Coast Dentistry offers various tooth replacement options, including:

Dental Implant

A dental implant is an anchor that attaches to a crown. They are tiny threaded posts placed in the gap and act as the tooth root.

Implants are secure, stable, and feel like natural teeth, making them popular for patients requiring tooth replacement.

During the dental implant treatment, your dentist will:

  1. Administer local anesthesia to numb your gums.
  2. After you are comfortable, your dentist will make an incision in the gums where the implant will go. It exposes your bone underneath.
  3. To prepare the jaw, the dentist will use equipment to create an opening in the jawbone.
  4. Next, your dentist will place the implant into the jaw.
  5. Finally, the dentist will close your incision using stitches. 

Dental Dentures

Dental dentures are removable dental appliances that replace missing teeth and neighboring tissues.

A full denture replaces an entire jaw, while a partial denture replaces one missing tooth or a couple in a row.

The steps for obtaining dentures include the following:

  • Consultation

The first step of the process is a dentist’s visit, where your dentist will explain how dentures function and the dental procedure for receiving dentures.

A dentist will evaluate your oral condition and guide you before recommending dentures.

  • Taking Impressions

Next, the dentist will take impressions of your teeth and gums. The initial procedure takes around 30 minutes.

After 14 days, your dentist will take your final impressions and ensure they fit comfortably. The process lasts an hour.

  • Jaw Relation Records

You should revisit the dental office for jaw relation records within 14 days following your final impressions. The process involves your dentist taking note of the relative position of your lower and upper jaws.

  • Dental Denture Delivery

Your dentist should deliver the dentures within two weeks after the try-in appointment.

The medical practitioner should give you instructions on how to wear and take care of the dentures.

  • Follow-Up Appointment

You should return to the dental office for a follow-up appointment. Your general dentist should make the necessary adjustments to ensure the dentures fit securely and comfortably in the mouth.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is identical to a denture but is permanently fixed to your teeth on all sides of the space. They “bridge” the gap.

Typically, a dental bridge comprises pontics (false teeth) made of porcelain, alloys, or gold. Crowns on your teeth on all sides of the space (abutment teeth) attach the bridges.

Contact a Skilled Aliso Viejo Dentist Near Me

Preserving your natural teeth is the best dental option, if possible. Nevertheless, if you have complications with your tooth, like pain or discomfort due to trauma, infection, or decay, visit South Coast Dentistry to determine if you require tooth extraction. Our dental team does not rush the decision to remove your teeth. Instead, we can carefully explain all the available dental options and work with you to ensure tooth extraction is ideal for your oral health goals and needs.

Our friendly staff can also ensure you are comfortable by offering you aromatherapy, headphones, and pillows. To schedule your individualized dental consultation at our Aliso Viejo office, we invite you to call us at 949-274-9086. Our compassionate and trained general dentists are dedicated to addressing your concerns and improving your oral health and smile.