Tooth Extraction

A tooth extraction procedure is one of those situations that inspires a good deal of anxiety among some people. Although the situation that leads to this necessity is certainly serious, and all types of medical procedures are to be taken seriously, most extractions actually go far easier than many people anticipate.

Why would I need a tooth to be extracted?

Although having a tooth extracted is not something that you would prefer, sometimes it is unavoidable. Some reasons why you might need a tooth extracted include:

  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth trauma
  • Overcrowding

One common reason why teeth need to be extracted is the development of wisdom teeth. These teeth develop in the back of the mouth when a person is in early adulthood. Our bodies have evolved to not need these additional teeth, and the human jawbone often cannot accommodate these extra teeth, leading to problems.

One common problem that wisdom teeth can cause is when there is insufficient space for them to erupt; they can come in at a difficult angle, such as rubbing up against other teeth. This can be an uncomfortable situation and can, at a minimum, lead to difficulty cleaning the teeth. If you can’t properly clean your teeth, this can lead to tooth decay.

In many cases, wisdom teeth are removed before any problem develops, as these teeth are not really necessary. In other cases, your dentist may adopt a wait-and-see approach.

Recovering From a Tooth Extraction

The first day or two after your tooth extraction requires the most attention and care, since this is the period when you’ll be doing most of your healing. Be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions, which may include:

  • Rest up: Engage in as little physical activity as possible in the 24 hours after your extraction.
  • Change gauze: Let the gauze remain for a few hours so that a blood clot will form, which is critical to the healing process. After that, change it as needed.
  • Take medications: To remain as comfortable as possible, take any prescribed or over-the-counter medications as directed.
  • Do not smoke or drink through straws: The suction force that this generates can dislodge the blood clot, which needs to remain in place.
  • Elevate your head: When you’re resting or sleeping, you can prop your head up with extra pillows to speed up healing.

Contact Us

Are you considering having one or more teeth extracted? Do you have a child who has emerging wisdom teeth? If you need more information about tooth extractions, please contact us or schedule a consultation. New patients are always welcome!

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If you have questions about Galleria Dental Arts, get in touch with our friendly team today at (703) 368-9777.