Thanks to our team’s experience and use of technology, we’re often able to save even the most decayed or broken teeth. Unfortunately, however, there are some situations in which a tooth can be so damaged that repairing it is simply impossible, so we will recommend a tooth extraction. Should you or your child ever need a tooth removed, our team will do everything we can to make the entire process stress-free from beginning to end. Using a gentle touch and local anesthetic, most patients usually report that they didn’t feel a thing when their tooth came out!
We often remove a tooth with the intention of quickly replacing it with a dental implant. While performing the extraction, we do everything we can to preserve the integrity of the surrounding jawbone, which will make implant placement much easier in the future. By doing this, we can drastically cut down on the time a patient spends with a space in their smile, and we may even save them from having to get a bone grafting procedure.
The idea of a tooth extraction can be scary for a lot of patients, but thankfully, a little knowledge can go a long way in helping curtail even the most longstanding fears. Below, we’ve answered some of the most common questions we receive about tooth extractions, and if there is anything else you’d like to know, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.
The mouth is always thoroughly numbed before any extraction, so while a patient may feel a little pressure during the procedure, it won’t resemble pain in the slightest. Typically, discomfort only develops afterward in the form of minor soreness and swelling. This can usually be easily managed with OTC pain medication and a cold compress. By following a dentist’s aftercare instructions, the pain will quickly reside.
While there are several treatments available that can be used to save damaged or decayed teeth (like fillings, crowns, gum disease therapy, root canals, etc.), by the time a dentist recommends a tooth extraction, this usually means that it is the only option. The tooth is likely beyond repair, and leaving it in place may allow a localized problem to spread throughout the mouth. The best way to avoid a tooth extraction is to prevent it from being needed in the first place, which can be done by brushing and flossing consistently as well as attending regular dental checkups.
Our practice does not offer general anesthesia, and in most cases, it is not necessary for a tooth extraction. Putting a patient to sleep introduces several complications into the procedure, in addition to extra expense, and local anesthetic is more than enough to keep someone comfortable. We would only recommend general anesthesia in very specific situations, such as if the extraction is very complicated or the patient has issues sitting still.
We will suggest that a patient take the rest of the day to relax after having a tooth removed. This is to ensure that the treatment area is able to fully clot, which is essential to proper healing. The patient will also be given aftercare instructions, including a list of foods that are safe to eat, oral hygiene tips, and indicators that they should call our office. On average, a patient’s mouth should feel relatively normal after about three days. Patients with physically demanding jobs may be asked to take a few days off because too much activity can interfere with the clotting process.
Most dental insurance plans classify tooth extractions as advanced restorative care, meaning they may cover up to 50% of the cost of the procedure. Benefits can vary quite a bit from plan to plan, however, so we recommend going over your policy with your provider and/or our team first so you can have a much more concrete idea of what you’ll be expected to pay out of pocket.