Repairing an injured tooth is always going to be your first choice, but sometimes a dental crown or root canal therapy just isn’t enough. If a tooth has been too badly damaged, it may need to be removed altogether; if that happens, you can count on Dr. Shanaka to make sure the procedure goes smoothly while you remain as comfortable as possible. Contact Tarpon Shores Dental today to find out whether your tooth can be saved or needs to be extracted.
Tooth extractions are usually considered a last resort for badly injured teeth. Normally this kind of damage can be corrected by placing a filling or root canal to strengthen and protect your tooth. However, sometimes these restorations just aren’t enough. A severely broken tooth might need to be removed so that it doesn’t damage your other teeth or your gums.
Infections are another common reason for extraction. When the pulp inside of your tooth is attacked by bacteria, it can cause severe pain. We can often remove the infection with root canal therapy, but removing the tooth might be the only option if the damage is already too extensive.
Finally, if you need braces or another orthodontic procedure but don’t have enough room in your mouth for your teeth to be aligned properly, an extraction might be recommended.
During a simple tooth extraction, the site of the surgery is numbed; this way, you won’t feel pain during the procedure (although you might notice some pressure). An instrument called an elevator loosens the tooth, and forceps are used to remove it.
If the tooth is impacted (meaning it can’t break through the gums), we’ll need to perform a surgical extraction. We’ll use whatever form of dental sedation is necessary to keep you relaxed while we make a small incision in your gums. Sometimes a small amount of bone needs to be removed before we can access the tooth. Also, we might need to remove the tooth in sections instead of all at once.
Dr. Shanaka will give you instructions for the recovery period, which usually lasts for a few days. For the first 24 hours, limit physical activity and avoid drinking from a straw or spitting forcefully. Expect to eat only soft foods such as soup or yogurt for the first day; you can work your way up to more solid foods as your mouth heals. If you need help controlling the pain, you can often try over-the-counter painkillers or applying a bag of ice to the extraction site for 10 minutes at a time. If you’re still experiencing severe pain after four hours or have noticed signs of infection (such as fever and chills), call us immediately.